Writing 201: Hero, Ballad, anaphora/epistrophe – (and yet he didn’t cry)


“Whether it’s a hero or a heroine, your poem today should focus on a person with an outsized personality — someone who makes a splash (or a mess) whenever he or she crosses others’ path. A parent, a teacher, a writer, Batman: we all know someone heroic, whether in real life or in fiction. Of course, if you’re feeling less laudatory today, feel free to turn things around by writing about an antihero or a villain.

A ballad has something removed from daily life about it — though everyday topics can definitely be given the ballad treatment. The secret is to find the drama, the struggle, the heightened emotions of a given situation and use them to tell a story.

Today, let’s explore the potential of creative redundancy with two neighboring devices: anaphora (a-NAH-fra) and epistrophe (eh-PIS-tro-fee). You may have figured out by now that the fancier the Greek name, the simpler the device. And you’ll be right this time, too.

Anaphora simply means the repetition of the same word (or cluster of words) at the beginning of multiple lines of verse in the same poem. Epistrophe is its counterpart: the repeated words appear at the end of lines. Like most simple devices, though, the trick is in deploying them to their full effect. Repetition lends emphasis to words, adds weight, and leaves a deeper imprint in your readers’ memories. Think wisely about what it is you’re underlining.”

AND YET HE DIDN’T CRY

In an average chain cafe Hugo sat drinking an average cup of joe (and yet he didn’t cry)
He watched fat shoppers puffing carrying fat shopping bags home (and yet he didn’t cry)
Unbidden came to mind his first true love who let her long red hair flow (and yet he didn’t cry)
The coffee reminded him of that first wonderful date (and yet he didn’t cry) Continue reading