after the rapids
your upturned canoe
after the rapids
your upturned canoe
Rhythmic pauses in poetry
It can be used in poetry and prose.
This literary device involves creating a break of a breath within a line where the two separate parts are distinguishable from one another yet intrinsically linked together. The purpose of using a caesura is to create a dramatic pause, which has a strong impact. The pause helps to add an emotional, or theatrical touch to the line and conveys a depth of sentiment in a short phrase.
Everyone speaks, and everyone breathes while speaking. For instance, when you say, “Josh has done his assignment,” you take breath or make a pause before further saying, “But Gideon did not.” Then again you take a little breath and say, “He ran out of ink.” Such pauses come from the natural rhythm of your speech.
Poetry also uses pauses in its lines. It uses them to indicate how a piece should be read, to help rhythm and speed and sense.
A comma, semi colon, full stop, dash, double space ellipse or exclamation mark often in the middle of a line would indicate a caesura.
In metrical poetry the caesura can be used as unstressed syllable.
Even if a caesura is not marked by punctuation poets use the natural breaths and intonations of speech to get the rhythm right. Word choice is extremely important to get the intonation right to speed and slow reading, to heighten, reduce emotion.
How we speak using caesura
Caesura on the whole are not big pauses you are not going to pause for 3 seconds just slightly longer than normal speech transmission.
Like everything in speech caesura come in various degrees longer or shorter. Sometimes a caesura happens as we length the syllables in one word as we speak.
If we look at the lines
‘Death, only death, can break the lasting chains ‘
we say the first death sharply and crisply then the second as deathhh. Say it out loud try it.
Examples of caesura
In the children’s verse, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence,’ the caesura occurs in the middle of each line:
‘Sing a song of sixpence, ll a pocket full of rye.’
This caesura this pause would remain even without the coma its a natutal space to breathe.
In this piece no visable caesura but some occur naturally through word choice and speech patterns.
‘Do you wonder ll at the why of life
Heed the truth ll kick the doubt.’
Sometimes Caesura occur near the beginning of a line, for emphasis not at a place we would normally pause for breath unless our speech was dramatic or we wanted our listener to really tune in.
For example, in the first line of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘Mother and Poet’, the caesura occurs after the very first word of the poem:
‘Dead ! ll One of them shot by the sea in the east’
Sometimes poets use more than caesura in a line as in
‘To be, ll or not to be — ll that is the question…’
Here there is a short pause with the coma but a longer more dramatic pause on the dash.
Sometimes near the end of a line.
‘Then there’s a pair of us — ll don’t tell!’
This stanza from John Ashbery’s poem “Our Youth” gives a more modern example of caesura using three different types of punctuation: ellipsis in the first two lines, a period in the third, and finally a comma in the fourth.
Blue hampers . . . || Explosions,
Ice . . . || The ridiculous
Vases of porphyry. || All that our youth
Can’t use, || that it was created for.
How we mark caesura in scansion
If we are analysing poetry we mark a caesura with ll called a double pipe.
Why use caesurae
Writers use caesurae to create variation in the rhythm of a poem, or to emphasize words in the middle of lines that might not otherwise receive attention. Since line breaks in poetry tend to serve as a natural pause regardless of whether the lines are end-stopped with punctuation, the rhythm of poems with lines of equal length can become somewhat monotonous and unvaried without the use of caesurae to create pauses in the middle of lines. The use of caesurae also allows writers to formulate their thoughts and images using more complex sentence structures with different clauses and a freer use of punctuation than is possible without the use of caesurae.
Check out caesurae in poetry and see how they work.
There are technical names for the different types of caesura you can look them up but to me it is important you understand the idea and ways to use pauses in lines. Technical terminology is not important.
Caught in Passion
My first book of poetry and quotes written at the beginning of my poetry journey is on promotion.
Caught in Passion is on promotion and is free on Amazom Kindle from 27th to 29th July.
It is a collection based on friendship, romance, love and desire.
Jeffrey Boyer Review of Caught in Passion.
Insight and truth are considered the domain of philosophers, psychologists, and music stars. The poet is too often overlooked. Poetry is emotions, yes?. Yet, Samantha Beardon couples insight, truth, and emotion in “Caught In Passion”. Not a text book nor the Notebook, Caught In Passion a journey thorough
romance and love,
beliefs, loving the self, relationship stumbling blocks,
(also the sections in her book) with the mind of a philosopher and the passion of the poet. Will this book make you think? Yes. Will it make you feel? Yes. Will you see yourself on many pages. Yes. What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that exactly why you read? Read this book. As the title of the review says, I was caught up in the passion of Samantha’s ‘Caught In Passion’.
Lets Read and discuss Poetry
BY JOHN KEATS
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
Check out his use of the senses.
The language in this is difficult because it was written in the early 1800s but if you can get past that it has much to offer as a piece.
Keats was looking at immortality and death. The death in his poem was related to consumption (TUBERCULOSIS). A disease with no cure in his time. We now have a parallel with Corona Virus.
Appropriate for a poem inspired by the sound of birdsong, there is much onomatopoeia in the poem. It is used to create a variety of moods. Notice how the harsh ‘t’ and ‘k’ of ‘heart aches’ and heavy ‘d’ and ‘p’ sounds at the beginning of the ode suggest the weightiness of Keats’ dreary mood. (Josh Pampam)
There is an obvious contrast with the light sounds in the second half of the opening stanza with words such as ‘light-winged Dryad’. The joy associated with the nightingale’s song is musically suggested by the repetition of the long ‘ee’ sounds of ‘beechen’, ‘green’ and ‘ease’.
The tone is difficult to pin down, making some readers unsure whether the poem is escapist or one which urges us to accept the human condition with all its suffering and uncertainty this could be about ‘dreaming room’ what do you think?
Feel the difference in mood and tempo between stanzas 2 and 3 think about he achieved that is it something you could use in the future?
Look at the juxtaposition of ideas in the poem.
Contrasting his personal unhappiness with the freedom of the nightingale.
He opens the poem with personal unhappiness versus the freedom of the nightingale.