Entertainment / Literature / Acephalous: From Greek 'headless,' acephalous lines are lines in normal iambic pentameter that contain only nine syllables rather than the expected ten. The first syllable, which is stressed, 'counts' as a full metric foot by itself. All acephalous lines by definition are catalectic. See foot and meter.


Entertainment / Literature / Catalexis: In poetry, a catalectic line is shortened or truncated so that unstressed syllables drop from a line. If catalexis occurs at the start of a line, that line is said to be acephalous or headless. See ca MORE


Entertainment / Literature / Elision: (verb form, elide) (1) In poetry, when the poet takes a word that ends in a vowel, and a following word that begins with a vowel, and blurs them together to create a single syllable, the result is an MORE


Entertainment / Literature / Synaeresis: When two vowels appear side-by-side within a single word, and the poet blurs them together into a single syllable to make his meter fit. Contrast with elision, syncope, and acephalous lines. MORE


Entertainment / Literature / Catalectic: In poetry, a catalectic line is a truncated line in which one or more unstressed syllables have been dropped. For instance, acephalous or headless lines are catalectic, containing one fewer syllable t MORE

Imperfect Foot

Entertainment / Literature / Imperfect Foot: A metrical foot consisting of a single syllable, either heavily or lightly stressed. See meter, cf. Acephalous line. MORE

Metrical Substitution

Entertainment / Literature / Metrical Substitution: A way of varying poetic meter by taking a single foot of the normal meter and replacing it with a foot of different meter. For instance, a poem might consist primarily of iambic pentameter, with a 'li MORE