Repeating Yourself

  • Robert Gardiner
    2 years ago

    Repeating Yourself:
    When Redundancy is not Redundant

    Alliteration --repetition of a sound in multiple words: buckets of big blue berries. If we want to be super-technical, alliteration comes in two forms. Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds: many more merry men. If the first letters are the consonants that alliterate, the technique is often called head rhyme. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds: refresh your zest for living. Often assonance can lead to outright rhymes.

    Anaphora -- repetition of beginning clauses. For instance, Churchill declared, "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost shall be."

    Epistrophe -- repetition of a concluding word or endings: "He's learning fast; are you earning fast?" When the epistrophe focuses on sounds rather than entire words, we normally call it rhyme.

    Epanalepsis -- repeating a word from the beginning of a clause at the end of the clause: "Year chases year." Or "Man's inhumanity to man." As Voltaire reminds us, "Common sense is not so common." As Shakespeare chillingly phrases it, "Blood will have blood." Under Biblical lextalionis one might demand "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life."

    Anadiplosis -- repeating the last word of a clause at the beginning of the next clause. As Nietzsche said, "Talent is an adornment; an adornment is also a concealment." Extended anadiplosis is called Gradatio. For instance, in The Caine Mutiny the captain declares: "Aboard my ship, excellent performance is standard. Standard performance is sub-standard. Sub-standard performance is not allowed." Biblically speaking, St. Paul claims, "We glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope, and hope maketh man not ashamed." On a more mundane level, the character of Yoda states in Star Wars, Episode I: "Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hatred; hatred leads to conflict; conflict leads to suffering." Gradatio creates a rhythmical pattern to carry the reader along the text, even as it establishes a connection between words.

    Diacope (also called Epizeuxis or Repetition) -- uninterrupted repetition, or repetition with only one or two words between each repeated phrase. Poe might cry out, "Oh, horror, horror, horror!"

    Symploce -- Repeating words at both the beginning and the ending of a phrase: In St. Paul's letters, he seeks symploce to reinforce in the reader the fact that his opponents are no better than he is: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they of the seed of Abraham? So am I."

    Here's an Example:

    (This is a poem employing repetition, Inspired, by Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem of the same name and my feelings and view on the subject, 'Live life to love, freely, without inhibition, and with few conditions, leaving all hang-ups and baggage at the door. Come with your heart and nothing more.' )

    Give All,To Love...

    Give All, To Love,
    Envelop Thyself, In Its Grace.
    Partake, Thereof,
    The Magic, with which it's laced.
    Give Of, Your All.
    Let Yourself Be Raptured
    Get Absorbed,
    Find Your Happily Ever After.

    Let Down, Your Walls,
    And Let Your Soul Take Flight.
    Become Enthralled,
    And Find Your Heart's Delight.
    Never mind, that hurt might come.
    Embrace The Good Of Love & Let Yourself Be, Overrun.
    Give All, To Love,
    For Love, Your Heart Deserves.
    The Old Wounds, Let Go Of,
    And In Love's Ecstasy, Submerge.

    Give All, To Love,
    If you want to find, that one.
    Open, Yourself Up,
    And Let Yourself Be, Overcome.
    Give All, To Love.
    And You'll Find, Rhapsody, Therein.
    To Know, It's Joy,
    You Have To Let Love in.
    Give All... Give All... Give All... To Love.

    Robert Gardiner

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  • GB
    2 years ago

    Very informative post, it's interesting how sometimes we use these poetic skills without being fully aware of the exact term, I'm very glad and grateful for this input.
    Thank you.

  • Robert Gardiner
    2 years ago

    Using Repetition

    by Robert Gardiner

    Repetition is the basis for many poetic forms. The use of repetition can heighten the emotional impact of a piece. Repetition of a sound, syllable, word, phrase, line, stanza, or metrical pattern is a basic unifying device in all poetry. It may reinforce, supplement, or even substitute for meter. Repetition emphasizes whatever it is that is repeated, making it stand out so the reader knows it is important. If you repeat a word or a line in poetry, then that word or line (or those words or lines) appears to be more important than other parts of the poem. In fact, in a poem with repeating lines, all of the other lines are often comments on or elaborations of the repeated line. Repetition can also affect the rhythm of a poem and the way it sounds. In particular, repetition of individual sounds or groups of sounds can strengthen the rhythmic structure.

    Repetition can be a great tool in poetry and a very effective one, when done well (right), but it is not easy to do. Anyone whose ever partook of poetry forms that use repetition know that it can be a difficult task, that repeating lines and phrases dispersed throughout your poem can sometimes adversely affect your rhythm and the overall flow of the poem. Repetition is not the hardest thing in the world to do, but is very easy to do badly.

    Repetition emphasizes whatever it is that's repeated, but too much repetition can make a great word or phrase seem commonplace. It's a matter of balance or moderation. Repetition is another one of those elements that we usually think of in connection with strict forms of poetry, but which is also of great use in less structured poems, including free verse. There are many possibilities--one can repeat words, phrases or whole stanzas, and one can play with the location of repeated parts. One of the keys to repetition is what you choose to repeat and where you choose to repeat it. If it's done in a poem that requires a specifically structured repetition, as many of the repetitive poetry forms/formats do/require, then it's a matter of effectively choosing what will be repeated in your poem, choosing what to use as your refrain or repeated sound, syllable, word, phrase, line, or stanza one that will still allow it to be rhythmic and fluent (to flow).

    If repetition, repeating yourself, in a poem, doesn't lend itself well to the rhythm and flow of the poem, it shouldn't be done, used, at all. I personally have tried using repetition effectively in poetry and can safely say doing it "effectively" is the most difficult part of the task, although I have managed to do so on occasion.

    Repetition is a skill and like all skills not everybody is graced, blessed, with the ability naturally. The use of repetition is an investment of time and effort. It takes a certain level of skill and craftsmanship to do it well, so for those who aren't graced with the natural ability it takes work to be able to do it well, right, if you will.

    Some of the information from an internet article on the Elements of poetry that is no longer up.

  • Em
    2 years ago

    A fab post with lots of food for thought.

  • mossgirl19
    1 year ago

    Learned so much from this post! Thank you!