The passage of regular or approximately equivalent time intervals between definite events or the recurrence of specific sounds or kinds of sound. Human beings have a seemingly basic need for such recurrence, or for the effect produced by it and this can be a strong rhetorical device in writing, as it creates a repetition and familiarity. (A Handbook to Literature)

The modulation of weak and strong (or stressed and unstressed) elements in the flow of speech. In most poetry written before the twentieth century, rhythm was often expressed in meter; in prose and in free verse, rhythm is present but in a much less predictable and regular manner. (The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Literary Terms)

Prose Rhythm

Novelists and short story writers are not under the same obligation as poets to reinforce sense with sound. In prose, on the whole, the rhythm is all right if it isn’t clearly wrong. But it can be wrong, if, for example, the cadence contradicts the meaning; on the other hand, rhythm can greatly enhance the meaning if it is sensitively used. (Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft)


A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.

The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Literary TermsMartin Puchner, et al.

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French.

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