In a city or song, a stop is a line or group of present that consistently repeat, generally at the finish of a stanza in a city or in ~ the finish of a city in a song. In a decided or other prose writing, a refrain can refer to any phrase that repeats a number of times in ~ the text.

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Some additional vital details around refrains:

Refrains deserve to be one or more lines, despite in some instances they have the right to be as brief as a few words or even a single word. Back refrains generally use the exact same language every time they"re recurring in a poem, the language might vary slightly between repetitions. A poem might have much more than one refrain. Normally speaking, refrains repeat at consistent intervals transparent a poem, such as at the finish of every stanza. Some poems, however, might repeat the refrain much more sporadically.

How to pronounce Refrain

Here"s how to express refrain: re-frayn

Refrains in Depth

Refrains an initial became renowned in poetry due to the fact that of their prominence to the lyric poetry creates of the center ages, which were often recited or sung through musical accompaniment. The repeat of words or phrases between verses was a beneficial tool because that helping writers and performers memorize the native of poems, and refrains likewise helped the listener to acquire a feeling for the rate of the poem, because refrains are typically repeated at regular intervals. The tradition of repeating refrains in lyric city has ongoing into the current day through popular music—most genres of songs with lyrics contain choruses with lyrics the repeat, make those choruses a kind of refrain. A chorus, in various other words, is simply a dedicated kind that refrain.

In the 15th and also 16th centuries, refrains branched out from lyric poetry and also music; they began to be generally found in non-lyric formal city (poetry v a strictly meter and rhyme scheme) and, come a lesser extent, in blank verse (poetry through a strictly meter but no rhyme). Due to the fact that that time, refrains have been supplied in all species of poetry (including in complimentary verse) and the conventions that originally established the methods in which refrains could be used—that repetition had to be similar in each instance and also had to happen at continual intervals, because that example—were met with brand-new variations and also innovations. Thus, the term refrain has broadened over time to encompass any series of words the are recurring throughout a poem.

Poetic develops That incorporate Refrains

Although refrains have the right to be offered in any kind of poetry, some fixed develops of city require the writer to encompass a refrain. Listed below is a list of species of poems that, through virtue of your form, need the usage of a stop in particular places transparent the poem. For an ext in-depth information about each of these forms, and for instances of how refrains are used in each, visit the individual entries because that each kind of poem.

Refrains in Speeches and also Prose composing

The ax "refrain" has come to have a definition that is a little bit different, and also less specific, in the paper definition of speeches or prose writing. In such writing, a refrain refers merely to any phrase or sentence is regularly repeated. Due to the fact that a refrain have the right to refer come virtually any type of kind of repeat in prose writing, it can overlap with other figures of speech that refer to very particular sorts of repetition, consisting of epistrophe and anaphora.

Refrain Examples

Examples of stop in Poetry

stop in Shakespeare"s "When that i was and a little tiny boy"

These room the first two stanzas of a tune from Shakespeare"s play, Twelfth Night. A lyric city such together this is defined as having actually a "double refrain," due to the fact that it has actually two lines the repeat as refrains in every stanza.

When that ns was and also a tiny tiny boy, through hey, ho, the wind and the rain, A foolish thing was but a toy, because that the rain the raineth every day.

But when I involved man’s estate, with hey, ho, the wind and the rain, ’Gainst knaves and thieves guys shut your gate, for the rain it raineth every day.

refrain in Yeats"s "September 1913"

In this example, which shows the very first two stanzas that the poem, the last line of every stanza features as a refrain.

What need you, being come to sense, however fumble in a greasy it rotates And add the halfpence come the pence and also prayer come shivering prayer, till You have dried the marrow native the bone; For guys were born to pray and save: Romantic Ireland’s dead and also gone, It’s v O’Leary in the grave. yet they were of a different kind, The names that stilled her childish play, They have actually gone about the people like wind, But tiny time had they come pray for whom the hangman’s rope was spun, and what, God aid us, could they save? Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, It’s v O’Leary in the grave.

stop in Octavio Paz"s "Wind, Water, Stone"

An atypical instance of refrain, Octavio Paz"s "Wind, Water, Stone" repeats the same collection of words together the stop of every quatrain in the poem, yet the words appear in different orders in each incident of the refrain. Here are the first two stanzas the the poem:

Water hollows stone, wind scatters water, rock stops the wind. Water, wind, stone. Wind carves stone, stone"s a cup the water, water escapes and is wind. Stone, wind, water.

refrain in Allen Ginsberg"s "Howl"

"I"m through you in Rockland" is the famous refrain Ginsberg"s groundbreaking city "Howl," i m sorry was widely censored at the time of its publishing for that vulgar language and explicit themes. In this excerpt the refrain comes at the beginning of sentences and also is repeated with together regularity, do it likewise an instance of anaphora.

Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland whereby you’re madder than I to be I’m v you in Rockland where you should feel very strange I’m v you in Rockland wherein you imitate the shade of my mommy I’m v you in Rockland whereby you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries I’m with you in Rockland wherein you laugh at this invisible humor I’m with you in Rockland where we are an excellent writers top top the same devastating typewriter I’m with you in Rockland whereby your condition has end up being serious and is report on the radio

stop in Ernest Henley"s "Ballade (Double Refrain) that Midsummer Days and Nights"

Here is another, more contemporary example the a poem with a twin refrain. This poem was composed in the beforehand 20th century. Excerpted below are just the very first two stanzas the the full poem (which in its totality is 3 stanzas plus an envoi).

With a ripple that leaves and also a tinkle the streams The full civilization rolls in a rhythm of praise, and also the winds space one through the clouds and beams-- Midsummer job! Midsummer job! The dusk grow vast; in a purple haze, if the West indigenous a rapture of sunset rights, faint stars your exquisite lamps upraise-- Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights! The wood"s eco-friendly heart is a nest of dreams, The lush grass thickens and also springs and sways, The rathe wheat rustles, the see gleams-- Midsummer job! Midsummer job! In the stilly fields, in the stilly ways, All secret shadows and mystic lights, Late lovers murmur and linger and gaze-- Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!

stop in Robert Frost"s "Stopping through Woods ~ above a Snowy Evening"

Even lines that are only repeated once in a poem might be referred to as a refrain, together in the ending of this famed poem by Robert Frost.

The woods space lovely, dark and also deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles come go before I sleep, and miles come go prior to I sleep.

Examples of stop in Songs

While stop is a popular maker in poetry, you are most likely most acquainted with its usage in song lyrics. Refrains are vital part the the type of many songs, and also they"re regularly the many memorable and also beloved part of a song.

It is precious noting that a refrain and a chorus in a tune are not specifically the exact same thing. A refrain refers to repeated lyrics, and also so every chorus (which are significant by repeating lyrics) is a refrain. The term "chorus", however, advert to when all the music elements—singers and also instruments—come with each other in unison. The is possible for a tune to have actually a refrain without such a coming with each other of the music elements. So, if every chorus in a tune is a refrain, not every stop is a chorus.

stop in "Sweet Caroline"

If you"ve ever been within Fenway Park for the 8th inning that a Red Sox game, then you"ve heard thousands of baseball fans to sing Neil Diamond"s "Sweet Caroline." notification in this video that the audience is markedly much more enthusiastic throughout the song"s refrain—for many people, the stop is most likely the only component of the song that they understand by heart, due to the fact that the refrain"s repetition throughout the track is what provides it memorable and also beloved.

Sweet Caroline good times never seemed so great I"ve to be inclined To think they never would

refrain in "Always ~ above Time"

In Ja Rule"s "Always top top Time," he bring in Ashanti to song the refrain:

Baby, I"m not constantly there when you call, however I"m always on time and also I gave you mine all, currently baby, be mine

This refrain—like countless refrains—is a condensation the the central themes that the song, i m sorry is around a connection in i beg your pardon two human being really care around one one more but don"t always treat each various other right. The refrain obliquely says the couple"s difficulties, and the fact that they desire to make it work-related anyway, both of which Ja dominion elaborates on during each the the song"s verses.

refrain in "Hey Ya"

A tune refrain doesn"t constantly have to do sense—sometimes it can be essentially nonsense and also still serve the function of pulling the audience in through catchy repetition. Take it Outkast"s "Hey Ya," the refrain of i beg your pardon is simply:

Hey ya! Hey ya! Hey ya! Hey ya! Hey ya! Hey ya! Hey ya! Hey ya!

"Hey Ya" is one of the many iconic song of the (still-young) 21st century, and also the stop is vital part that its mood, structure, and—believe that or not—message. The song, which is identified by that is exuberant refrain, is deceptively upbeat and danceable, also though its subject is quintessentially depressing: André 3000 is singing about how that thinks the all love is a sham and he"s unhappy in his relationship. Consider this component of the track in relation to the stop (which these lines instantly follow):

You think you"ve acquired it Oh, friend think you"ve obtained it yet "got it" just don"t gain it "Til there"s nothing at all

André 3000 never specifies what he means by this, however presumably the meaning is multiple. First, it"s around love—he thought he had actually love in his relationship, however he didn"t recognize that the love was false. Second, these lines have the right to be seen as a small joke ~ above listeners, that are most likely not to realize that the song, in spite of its optimistic sound, is sad. In this sense, these lines could directly describe the song"s refrain: listener think that the chorus is simply an excuse for dancing, when maybe it"s meant to express the frustration and also incomprehensibility of failure love. Thus, just as Outkast doesn"t acquire love, listener don"t get the stop of "Hey Ya."

Refrain in Speeches

In speeches and also other prose writing, a refrain refers simply to any kind of phrase or sentence the is frequently repeated. Refrains are popular tools in speeches, since repetition is memorable, musical, and also can assist to offer a usual structure and meaning to different ideas. These attributes are specifically important in speeches, since the audience have to be made to understand and also remember complex ideas there is no the capability to "rewind" or parse a expression for the meaning.

refrain in "Ain"t i a Woman?"

Sojourner truth uses stop in her renowned speech "Ain"t ns a Woman?" i m sorry she ceded without preparation at a women"s civil liberties convention in Ohio in 1851. Her refrain—which later came to be the name whereby her untitled speech is known—is a rhetorical question, repeated to do the suggest that females are simply as qualified as men. Below is one excerpt:

That guy over there says that women need to be aided into carriages, and also lifted over ditches, and also to have actually the finest place everywhere. Nobody ever before helps me right into carriages, or end mud-puddles, or provides me any type of best place! and also ain"t i a woman? Look in ~ me! Look in ~ my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! and also ain"t i a woman? I could work together much and eat as lot as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! and ain"t ns a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and also seen many all sold off come slavery, and also when ns cried out with my mother"s grief, none yet Jesus heard me! and also ain"t i a woman?

By alternating this rhetorical question with evidence of she equality to men, Sojourner reality uses stop in bespeak to make her point seem obvious; every time the inquiry is repeated, the notion of contradicting she seems much more and much more silly. By the end of the paragraph—once "And ain"t ns a woman?" has been repeated 4 times—Sojourner truth has made it clear that to justify women"s be oppressive on the grounds that women are weaker than guys is absurd.

stop in "I have actually a Dream"

Like Sojourner Truth"s "Ain"t ns a Woman?", young name Luther King, Jr."s "I have a Dream" speech—perhaps the most well known speech that the twenty century—takes its location from that refrain, i beg your pardon repeats throughout the speech"s climax, excerpted below:

And so also though we face the obstacles of today and also tomorrow, ns still have actually a dream. That is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have actually a dream that at some point this nation will climb up and also live the end the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, the all males are created equal."

I have actually a dream that sooner or later on the red hills the Georgia, the young of previous slaves and also the boy of previous slave owner will be able to sit down together at the table the brotherhood.

I have a dream the one day also the state that Mississippi, a state sweltering through the warmth of injustice, sweltering v the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis the freedom and justice.

I have actually a dream the my four tiny children will sooner or later live in a nation where they will certainly not be judged by the shade of your skin yet by the content of your character.

King uses this refrain for countless reasons, but amongst the most necessary is the the repetition of "I have a dream" create a rhythm that provides the statement begin to feeling inevitable. This is an effective rhetorical inert in a speech around progress and also equality, and it appears to suggest that King"s dream is destined to prevail, just as the expression is destined come recur.

stop in Barack Obama"s 2008 Election win Speech

Barack Obama—who"s very own speechwriting is deeply influenced by that of young name Luther King, Jr.—frequently supplies refrain in his speeches. The phrase "Yes us can" has actually been a longtime motto that Obama"s, and also while it shows up in numerous of his speeches, he supplied it most iconically together a stop in his speech after to win the 2008 election. In the excerpt below, Obama repeatedly referrals Ann Nixon Cooper, a 106 year old black color woman indigenous Atlanta that couldn"t vote when she was younger because of she gender and also race:

And tonight, i think around all the she"s checked out throughout she century in America—the heartache and also the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were called that us can"t, and the human being who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women"s voices to be silenced and also their hopes dismissed, she lived to watch them was standing up and also speak out and also reach because that the ballot. Yes us can.

When there to be despair in the dust bowl and also depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself through a brand-new Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes us can.

When the bombs dropped on our harbour and also tyranny endangered the world, she to be there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy to be saved. Yes us can.

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She was there because that the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a leg in Selma, and also a preacher from Atlanta that told a civilization that "We candlestick Overcome". Yes we can.

Obama"s refrain serves countless purposes: it provides a rhetorical point, that uplifts the audience, and it unifies historical occasions into a narrative of progress. Perhaps most important, though, the refrain renders the audience feel that they room a part of Obama"s victory. As you clock the video of the decided here, notification that the repeat of "Yes us can" invites the audience to get involved by repeating the heat after that does. Obama never explicitly tells the audience the they might do this—it"s the very structure of the refrain that stirs the audience right into participation, which speaks to the rhetorical strength of the refrain.

Why carry out Writers usage Refrains?

The stop is a flexible literary device that takes countless forms and has countless purposes. Writers, musicians, and orators use refrains in songs, speeches, and also poems in stimulate to drive a point home, aid a reader or listener"s memory, establish main themes, and create structure. Recurring words or unit volume stick an ext easily in a leader or listener"s mind and accentuate the structure and rhythm that what"s gift said—a repetitive line like "I have a dream," because that example, develops the main theme of readjust and progress, and also creates a rhythm within which development feels as unavoidable as the speech"s structure. Occasionally refrains room used simply to condense and also repeat the main subject of a poem or song, together in Henley"s "Ballade of Midsummer Days and also Nights" and Ja Rule"s "Always on Time," both excerpted above. Refrains can additionally organize the content of a speech, song, or poem by providing a memorable rhetorical framework. This is an especially useful in poems or song that move quickly and also wildly between divergent images and also ideas, together in Ginsberg"s poem "Howl." Last, in songs and also in part fixed develops of poetry, refrains are often used simply since their consist of is timeless to the kind in which the poet or songwriter is writing.