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What is a Refrain?


A Refrain is a verse or phrase that is repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem, usually after the chorus or stanza.

Example of a Poem That Uses a Refrain

The cat so silent
Lay curled up on the rug
The fire a blaze
The room so snug.

Purring, purring
Quiet and still
Purring, purring
Content from his fill.

Tatters the cat
Big, fat cat.

He had just eaten
A dinner of fish
What a treat to have
Filling up his dish.

Purring, purring
Quiet and still
Purring, purring
Content from his fill.

Tatters the cat
Big, fat cat.

No more cold for the day
He was in for the night
Fun he had had
When the day was light.

Purring, purring
Quiet and still
Purring, purring
Content from his fill.

Tatters the cat
Big, fat cat.


Refrains are used in poetry for structure it makes a poem metrical and rhythmic.

Why don't you try writing a poem using metaphors and enter it into one of our poetry competitions.

For information on poetry terms other than a metaphor visit our poetry glossary – poetry terms.

Poetry Terms

Adjective Kenning Poetry Slam Rhythm
Alliteration Metaphor Powerful Verbs Simile
Anthology Meter Prose Stanza
Assonance Onomatopoeia Refrain Syllable
Chorus Oxymoron Repetition Synonym
Consonance Personification Rhyme Verb
Envoi Poetry Rhyming Couplet Verse
Envoy      
 
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