Anacrusis (81 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Context

The insertion of one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line where the poetical metre would normally demand a stressed syllable. For example, the “And” which opens the second line of Blake's “The Tiger” is logically an unstressed word but stands in a place where the rhythm requires a stress:

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Citation:
Editors. "Anacrusis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=41, accessed 05 December 2016.]