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Related to Caesura: enjambment


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Caesura, which is already more than 80 percent occupied, is directly across from the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, a Whole Foods Market and the Apple Store.
A short line after a pattern of longer lines can create the same effect as an interior caesura; for example, James Wright's "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota" is a 13-line gem with a piled-on title, that begins with embedded and enjambed tercets.
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In the first chapter, for example, Cornulier provides a provocative reading of Rimbaud's sonnet, "Morts de Quatre-vingt douze et de Quatre vingt treize," that suggests a particularly Subversive placement of the caesura in the line "Morts de Valmy, Morts de / Fleurus, Morts d'Italie," By counting it as a 6-6 rather than the long-assumed 4-4-4, Cornulier ascribes to Rimbaud the rare Alexandrine in which the caesura falls not only on a monosyllabic preposition (de) but on a particularly unstable one at that.
(26) In Puella, Dickey disguises complete sentences mainly with the centered line, the dropped-line, and the long space which functions as a strong caesura.
Many of the contributors have chosen to echo the characteristic style of Anglo-Saxon verse by observing the four stresses, three alliterations, and even, though less often, the caesura (pause) found in the usual Old English poetic line.
The Cronica is in rhymed hexameters, using the variant known as Leonines, which have a disyllabic rhyme between the caesura and the end of the line; the English translates this into a longer Alexandrine line of twelve-syllabled iambics, with end-rhymes in couplets, thus capturing the general feel of Gower's verse.
In Greek and Latin versification this perceptual need became a formal convention, requiring a break called caesura in the middle of verse lines.
Negri's main concern is with articulating what he sees as the caesura between modernity and post-modernity at numerous political and economic levels.
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According to Peiter, 1933 marks a caesura in the history of resistance comedy.
He does find that the last years of his representative artists produce works "marked by a sharp stylistic break, a caesura or rupture in their mode of expression" (35) and he agreees with Russ McDonald (in Shakespeare's Late Style [2007]) on the difficulty and intransigence resulting from ellipsis, distillation, deformed phrases, directional shifts, and intricate syntax.