Repetition In Poetry

This page was first published on the 18th of October, 2016 and last updated on the 5th of May, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

poetry photoRepetition is a literary device used by writers to make their writing more pleasing to the ears. Repetition helps to accentuate rhythm in poetry. You may read a poem, for example, and wonder why the poet said the same thing twice in succession. For example, in Robert’s Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” he closes the last stanza with the two same lines:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Repetition does not only add perfect rhythm to the lines of poetry, but it also adds perfect rhyme, since the words are exactly the same. For these reasons, poets make use of the tool of repetition to give their poems a special sound effect.

During a school sports in a Caribbean School, the young, energetic sports master, Sir Shammah, made up a small poem for his sports team. His team belonged to a group called “London House”. London House was competing in the inter-house sports with Cassou house and Carey House. During the event, Sir Shamnah’s athletes would chant the poem out loud in unison to cheer on their athletes.

The poem read like this:

You got your L

You got your L

 

You got your O

You got your O

 

You got your N

You got your N

 

You got your D

You got your D

 

You got your O

You got your O

 

You got your N

You got your N

 

LONDON!!!

Quite simple, but creative! Very short, but powerful stanzas!

I was there at the sports ground and I must admit that the poem produced a musical effect. It so happened that London House came in first, and the house I was belonged to “Cassou House” came in second. I’m pretty sure the poem had something to do with it!

Related: More Rhythym In Poetry.

Related: Sports is Unscripted Drama.

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