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1. (in modern prosody) a pause, esp for sense, usually near the middle of a verse line.
2. (in classical prosody) a break between words within a metrical foot, usually in the third or fourth foot of the line



in poetry, a regular break between words in a poem.

In classical poetry, a caesura usually occurred within a foot; in accentual-syllabic verse it usually coincides with the foot ending. The caesura occurs after the second foot in the iambic pentameter line, as in “Eshche odno ∥ poslednee skazan’e” (“Yet one last tale,” Pushkin); after the third foot in iambic and trochaic hexameter lines, for example, “Dni pozdnei oseni ∥ braniat obyknovenno” (“The days of late autumn are usually cursed,” Pushkin); and occasionally after the second foot in the amphibrachic tetrameter line, as in “Gliazhu kak bezumnyi, ∥ na chernuiu shal’” (“I gaze like a madman upon the black shawl,” Pushkin). The longer the line, the greater the need for a caesura. Usually a strong intonational pause, a caesura approaches the strength of a line ending. As with a clausula, the foot preceding a caesura may by truncated or augmented; it may also rhyme, for example, “Tri u Budrysa syna, ∥ kak i on, tri litvina” (“Budrys has three sons, like him, Lithuanians,” Pushkin).



in music, a division between sections of a musical work. Together with other factors, a caesura ensures the perception of the articulation of a work and its structure. There are no special markings to indicate a caesura; in part, phrasing ligatures permit their location to be judged. In a number of instances, a caesura coincides with natural pauses between notes; they always appear after melodic and harmonic cadences, after a hold, and at transitions to a repeat. The significance, or impact, of a caesura is proportional to the scale of the sections it divides and the degree to which they appear a completed entity. In a number of instances, varying opinions concerning the location and significance of a caesura are possible; together with other features, such differences mold the distinctiveness of individual interpretations.

References in periodicals archive ?
Pugliese, J 2013, State violence and the execution of law: biopolitical caesurae of torture, black sites, drones, Routledge, London & New York.
First, in Hungarian iambic pentameter lines, when you compare caesurae after the fourth and sixth positions, the former do, indeed, considerably outnumber the latter; but the most frequent placement of caesurae (not as in English and Hebrew poetry) is after the fifth position.
4 are the following: a high rate of `blurred ' caesurae in 2.
8], 165 points out that two of the four lines lacking one of the normal secondary caesurae in 2.
Within the stanzas, we can note the enjambed lines, coupled with a wider variety of caesurae.
At the same time, Shelley enfigures effusion by use of enjambments and caesurae (which disrupt the poem's syntax) and by use of what John Hollander calls the "bridging, associating, linking function" of rhyme and other prosodic devices (119).
Numerous enjambments and caesurae in the "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" offset the primary typographical metaphor of containment and magnify the impression of effusion, not through any linking function, but by jarring the poem's syntax and opening up alternative, short-lived syntactic strains.