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Verse, from the Latin "versus", meaning "to turn", is a group of words which form at the end of each line a rhythmic unit. Certain formal constraints govern versification or the technique of verse. Its name varies according to the number of syllables which it contains. The best known example is the "alexandrine", which is a verse with 12 syllables.

Verses are generally organized into "stanzas". The stanza equally bears a specific name according to the number of verses that compose it: "distich" (2 verses), "tercet" (3 verses), "quatrain" (4 verses), "quintil" (5 verses) and "hexastich" (6 verses). Accents and caesurae (pauses within the verse) determine its rhythm. The 19th century saw the appearance of free verse, which arose from the refusal of these demands and obeyed no common structure.

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