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Caesura Definition

A caesura, in poetry, is an audible pause that breaks up a line of verse. This may come in the form of any sort of punctuation which causes a pause in speech; such as a comma; semicolon; full stop etc. It is also used in musical notation as a complete cessation of musical time.

Caesura Poem Example

Arma virumque cano, || Troiae qui primus ab oris
("I sing of arms and the man, who first from the shores of Troy. . .")

Cynthia prima fuit; || Cynthia finis erit.
("Cynthia was the first; Cynthia will be the last" — Horace)

Hwæt! we Gar-Dena || on geardagum
("Lo! we Spear-Danes, in days of yore. . .")

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Other Caesura Definition

[n] a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line
[n] a pause or interruption (as in a conversation); "after an ominous caesura the preacher continued"

Misc. Definitions

\C[ae]*su"ra\, n.; pl. E. {C[ae]suras}, L. {C[ae]sur[ae]} [L. caesura a cutting off, a division, stop, fr. caedere, caesum, to cut off. See {Concise}.] A metrical break in a verse, occurring in the middle of a foot and commonly near the middle of the verse; a sense pause in the middle of a foot. Also, a long syllable on which the c[ae]sural accent rests, or which is used as a foot. Note: In the following line the c[ae]sura is between study and of. The prop | er stud | y || of | mankind | is man.

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