In poetry, a refrain is a word, line or phrase that is repeated within the lines or stanzas of the poem itself.

There are three common types of refrain:

  • the repetend – where particular words are repeated throughout the poem;
  • the chorus – usually read by more than one person '_in unison_', and sometimes can be considered the theme of the poem;
  • the burden – the most common form of refrain, in which a whole word or phrase is repeated a regular intervals.

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