Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The first of a pair of stanzas of alternating form on which the structure of a given poem is based.
  • n. A stanza containing irregular lines.
  • n. The first division of the triad constituting a section of a Pindaric ode.
  • n. The first movement of the chorus in classical Greek drama while turning from one side of the orchestra to the other.
  • n. The part of a choral ode sung while this movement is executed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A turn in verse, as from one metrical foot to another, or from one side of a chorus to the other.
  • n. The section of an ode that the chorus chants as it moves from right to left across the stage.
  • n. A pair of stanzas of alternating form on which the structure of a given poem is based.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In Greek choruses and dances, the movement of the chorus while turning from the right to the left of the orchestra; hence, the strain, or part of the choral ode, sung during this movement. Also sometimes used of a stanza of modern verse. See the Note under antistrophe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient prosody: A system the metrical form of which is repeated once or oftener in the course of a poem; also, a stanza in modern poetry.
  • n. In a narrower sense— The former of two metrically corresponding systems, as distinguished from the latter or antistrophe.
  • n. The fourth part of the parabasis and first part of the epirrhematic syzygy. It is hymnic in character, as opposed to the scoptic tone of the epirrhema.
  • n. In botany, one of the spirals formed in the development of leaves.
  • n. In music, one of the more or less complete divisions into which a piece in song or dance form is divided: analogous to stanza in verse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one section of a lyric poem or choral ode in classical Greek drama

Etymologies

Greek strophē, a turning, stanza, from strephein, to turn; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek στροφή (strophē, "a turn, bend, twist"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term strophe has come to be used also for verse paragraphs where there is no antistrophic arrangement.

    Select Masterpieces of Biblical Literature

  • In each set of three the first stanza is called the strophe (turn), being intended, probably, for chanting as the chorus moved in one direction; the second stanza is called the antistrophe, chanted as the chorus executed a second, contrasting, movement; and the third stanza the epode, chanted as the chorus stood still.

    A History of English Literature

  • In the original the opening strophe, which is altogether more regular than the average and is, moreover, one of the few that have also complete caesural rhyme, is as follows:

    The Nibelungenlied Translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original

  • In acrostic poems the rhyme is sometimes supplied by the corresponding letter of the alphabet; thus the first strophe rhymes with a, the second with b, etc.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon

  • Chanting and moving as a unit, the chorus would proceed in one direction (movement called the strophe), turn back using the same meter

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 3

  • There are two lead choirs: bunches of monks gathered in columns around the lectern of each transept, with the choirmaster who intones the strophe and the choir that catches the tune and makes it blossom in melodies and chords.

    Pentecost in the East

  • Lyric's raw phonemic matter precedes and equips every strophe as well as the odd apostrophe.

    Phonemanography: Romantic to Victorian

  • I brought a tape recorder to her house one day, and she read a lovely strophe on love and the stark beauty of winter.

    ɘloЯ

  • By maintaining a ferocious poetic independence from any school or movement, Tussman achieved a compressed lyrical style noted by the critic M. Littvin for its elliptical syntax and free verse rhythms that render the strophe inconspicuous but dense.

    Malka Heifetz Tussman.

  • Thanks Matt - the whole thing it is tied to the past tense iteration of the last strophe...

    Thieves Of Light (rev)

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