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)

He thought of San Francisco in the Spring, Summer and Fall (and yet he didn’t cry)
Of skateboarding, hanging out playing hookie, horse and foottball (and yet he didn’t cry)
Of losing his cherry after school in study hall (and yet he didn’t cry)
Of being a happy weird ass kids with happy wise ass friends (and yet he didn’t cry)

He thought about do your duty, fight therm over there, not here (and yet he didn’t cry)
He thought about “This is the burden you were born to bear” (and yet he didn’t cry)
He thought about the boy who went to the farm and then man who left there (and yet he didn’t cry)
And of the betrayal of all he thought good and Godly (and yet he didn’t cry)

He thought about the death of all that was Godly and good (and yet he didn’t cry)
And the explicit instructions to do what he knew he never should (and yet he didn’t cry)
Of a pit full of bodies cremated in petrol and wood (and yet he didn’t cry)
And the decision to turn and walk away (and yet he didn’t cry)

He thought about abandoning Hackney his new happy home (and yet he didn’t cry)
Of running yet again from chasing dogs red in maw, craw and bone (and yet he didn’t cry)
Of nearing his mothers voice again, he had a copy of an old video (and yet he didn’t cry)
And he came to a decision, long procrastinated over (and yet he didn’t cry)

Time to turn and fight every devil bastard pursueing
Time to turn and fight for every last innocent in his past left unavenged
Time to turn and fight Smith the liar, the traitor, the monster, the old mentor

Time to turn and fight the past, now in the present and perhaps he might have a future

Lonely-Man

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