Saturday, January 31, 2009

Totally Optional Prompt: Repetition

TOPers: this week, let's explore the power of repetition.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."

--Lewis Caroll, The Hunting of the Snark

Well, that might or might not be the case! But usually when we repeat something it's because we think it's important and we want our audience to pay attention. This is true in poetry as well as in ordinary conversation.

Look at the number of traditional forms that incorporate repetition: the sestina family, the villanelle and terzanelle, the triolet, the kyrielle, the rondeau and related forms. The list goes on and on.

Free verse also makes use of repetition: look at the phrases "Not to be spattered by his blood" and "this, while I kill him" in Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Not to Be Spattered by His Blood" or the use of "close" (enclose, unclose), "open", "rose", in e. e. cummings' "somewhere I have never travelled,gladly beyond".

What sort of effects can we get with repetition? You may want to explore this through one of the forms listed above. Or in free verse. Or in any kind of poetry at all. Or do something else entirely: remember, it's
Totally Optional

Remember to leave your permalink on the Wednesday evening post, which your February host Linda will put up!


Anonymous said...

I think I'll use this prompt to do something I haven't tried before, probably one of the rondeau family of verses or a kyrielle.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I realise my ignorance when I read of all the different types of verse. I usually write whatever comes into my mind. This time, in response to Repetition, I've just reprinted some old lyrics.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Mr. Linky for this repetition prompt so here's my link for my poem
Whispers and Screams

Linda Jacobs said...

Hi Gel, Mr. Linky goes up on Wednesday nights. Thanks for participating!

Anonymous said...

interesting .. i will not try the much said about typed of poetry but will surely try something simple :)