strophe


strophe
/stroh"fee/, n.
1. the part of an ancient Greek choral ode sung by the chorus when moving from right to left.
2. the movement performed by the chorus during the singing of this part.
3. the first of the three series of lines forming the divisions of each section of a Pindaric ode.
4. (in modern poetry) any separate section or extended movement in a poem, distinguished from a stanza in that it does not follow a regularly repeated pattern.
[1595-1605; < Gk strophé a twist, turning about, akin to stréphein to turn; see STREPTO-]
Syn. 3. See verse.

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▪ music and literature
      in poetry, a group of verses that form a distinct unit within a poem. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for stanza, usually in reference to a Pindaric ode or to a poem that does not have a regular metre and rhyme pattern, such as free verse. In ancient Greek drama the strophe was the first part of a choral ode that was performed by the chorus while it moved from one side of the stage to the other. The strophe was followed by an antistrophe of the same metrical structure (performed while the chorus reversed its movement) and then by an epode of different structure that was chanted as the chorus stood still.

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