Definitions for "Scansion"
The act of scanning; distinguishing the metrical feet of a verse by emphasis, pauses, or otherwise.
Lat. scandere, "to move upward by steps." Scansion is the science of scanning, of dividing a line of poetry into its constituent parts.
"The scansion of a line provides a graphic representation of the relationship between the metrical pattern and the stress pattern; that is, it shows which metrical rules are employed at particular points to realize beats and offbeats. It therefore directly reflects the way in which the line is perceived as rhythmically regular, indicating the degree and exact nature of metrical deviation at every stage" (Attridge, REP 361). Attridge here refers to his own beat-offbeat system but all forms of scansion use some sort of graphic representation to represent stress; the generative system uses trees and traditional scansion uses the long and short stress marks of classical meters.