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Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.



Just like in songs, a refrain in poetry is a regularly recurring phrase or verse, especially at the end of each stanza or division of a poem or song.

Hmm. Let Shmoop think. The most famous refrain of all time? It's gotta be the one from T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

Oh, how we wish those women would shut up already.