Metre (poetry) - Caesurae


Another component of a verse's metre are the caesurae (literally, cuts), which are not pauses but compulsory word boundaries which occur after a particular syllabic position in every line of a poem. In Latin and Greek poetry, a caesura is a break within a foot caused by the end of a word.

For example, in the verse below, each odd line has a caesura (shown by a slash /) after the fourth syllable (daily, her, won'dring, mother) while each even line is without a caesura:

Daily, daily, / sing to Mary,
Sing my soul her praises due:
All her feasts, her / actions honour,
With the heart's devotion true.
Now in wond'ring / contemplation,
Be her majesty confess'd;
Call her Mother / call her Virgin,
Happy Mother, Virgin blest.

A caesura would split the word "devotion" in the fourth line or the word "majesty" in the sixth line.

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