Anacrusis

(81 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

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?
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Citation:
Editors. "Anacrusis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=41, accessed 28 August 2014.]