One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a line of verse) having the full number of syllables.
- ‘A fierce opponent of literary plagiarism, Poe claims originality for his stanza form in ‘The Raven’: trochaic rhythm; octameter acatalectic alternating with heptameter catalectic repeated in refrain of fifth verse.’
- ‘Unlike most English adjectives, ‘catalectic’ and its opposite ‘acatalectic’ usually follow the nouns they qualify: thus the last of Shelley's lines quoted above would be called a trochaic trimeter catalectic.’
- ‘The term catalectic means the meter is short the final syllable (tongue would have to be tonguey to complete the trochee), and acatalectic means it is complete.’
- ‘When unstressed syllables are not dropped at the beginning or the end of a line, they are said to be acatalectic.’
A line of acatalectic verse.
- ‘In classical terms, the meter is a slightly irregular amphribachic trimeter, alternating acatalectic and catalectic.’
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