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Pauses.—If a word ends within a foot (i. e. if the foot is cut in two), the interruption is called caesura (Latin for ‘cutting’). If the end of a word coincides with the division between two feet (i. e. with the bar of musical notation), the coincidence is called diaeresis (Greek “διαίρεσις”, ‘division’).

It is at these points, after a caesura or a diaeresis, that the voice may pause in reciting a verse. But unless a caesura or diaeresis coincides with a natural pause in sense, it is generally neglected; where such a coincidence does occur, however, the principal caesura or principal diaeresis is said to be found. Every verse contains at least one pause—almost always a principal caesura.

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