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Definition & Example of Systole

Systole is a device in prosodyOpens in new window by which a syllableOpens in new window which is long by nature or by position is sometimes shortened.

Systole is a kind of MetaplasmOpens in new window and consists as an inverse of DiastoleOpens in new window.

A Notable Example of Systole

In the following stanza, the rhyming words only do rhyme if the second word, “feel” has its vowel sound shortened to the equivalent of “fill”:

  1. Poor duck, by buckshot robbed of useful bill,
    Poor hunter, maimed by sorrow he must feel.
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