Definition of Spenserian stanza in English:

Spenserian stanza

Pronunciation /spenˈsirēən/ /spɛnˈsɪriən/ /spenˈserēən ˈstanzə/ /spɛnˈsɛriən ˈstænzə/


  • The stanza used by Spenser in The Faerie Queene, consisting of eight iambic pentameters and an alexandrine, with the rhyming scheme ababbcbcc.

    ‘Byron's use of comic rhyme in ‘Don Juan’, for instance, tells us that we are not to take the action too seriously; whereas the weight of the Spenserian stanza in ‘The Fairie Queen’ tells us the reverse.’
    • ‘This works really well as a basic writing exercise, since Spenserian stanzas are super-easy.’
    • ‘Freshman year, I'd sit in the back of Astronomy class sketching out Spenserian stanzas giving my impressions of whatever was going on in my life; I almost failed Astro, but it was worth it.’