Extended-Poem Spark Apr 14-May 12: Anaphora

Greetings and salutations!

We are right smack in the middle of National Poetry Month, and many of us are busy writing a poem a day for NaPoWriMo. If any of you are like me, you are probably scraping the bottom of the barrel right about now, searching for inspiration. Of course, sometimes when both the mind and computer screen are blank, I find myself repeating words over and over in the hopes of stirring something useful out of the muck. (What’s that you say? What about paper? Yes, of course, blank paper is equally frustrating, but at least doodles are possible.)

Poets.org’s useful page on anaphora offers this definition:

The term “anaphora” comes from the Greek for “a carrying up or back,” and refers to a type of parallelism created when successive phrases or lines begin with the same words, often resembling a litany. The repetition can be as simple as a single word or as long as an entire phrase. As one of the world’s oldest poetic techniques, anaphora is used in much of the world’s religious and devotional poetry, including numerous Biblical Psalms.

Repetition, hmm. This could be useful, I think. Here are some delightful examples of anaphora in poetry:

Walt Whitman Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking

Gregory Orr A Litany

So, in honor of the deep frustration that leads one to repeat words over and over in the hope of inspiration, for this spark, write a poem that uses anaphora. Good luck!

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