Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - Epiphora

Early this year we wrote poems that used the device anaphora. Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive sentences or clauses. Epiphora (or epistrophe) is the exact opposite, where this repetition occurs at the end of successive sentences or clauses.

Here are a few examples.

The Gettysburg Address
“… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“

From "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman
And am not stuck up, and am in my place.

(The moth and the fish-eggs are in their place,
The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in
     their place,
The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place.)

From THE MERCHANT OF VENICE by William Shakespeare
Bassanio: Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring
And would conceive for what I gave the ring
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

Portia: If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your own honor to contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.

So, your challenge for the week is to write a poem that uses epiphora. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Snow

    We wait all day for the snow—
    small first flakes that slip through gray,
    more and more till they whitewash day,
    we wait for the fall of the snow,
    the heavy white coming of snow.
    Big boot treaders, tall salt spreaders,
    hopeful sledders, slip-fall dreaders,
    we wait and wait for the snow.

    —Kate Coombs, 2014
    all rights reserved

    No, you can’t borrow my doll,
    You can’t touch my doll,
    You can’t look at my doll,
    You can’t think of my doll …
    Unless you do my chores for a month.
    Yes? I’d like to introduce you to my doll.

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

  3. Enter Your Comment

    The website asks Enter Your Comment,
    The bank requires Enter Your Comment,
    The store begs Enter Your Comment
    The Survey pleads Enter Your Comment,
    I enter my comment,
    it is eaten by the screen.

    ©2014 Jane Yolen all rights reserved