Day Twenty-five

Anaphora is a literary term for the practice of repeating certain words or phrases at the beginning of multiple clauses or, in the case of a poem, multiple lines. The phrase “A time to,” as used in the third Chapter of Ecclesiastes, is a good example of anaphora. But you don’t have to be the Old Testament (or a Byrds song) to use anaphora. Allen Ginsberg used it in Howl, for example. This post by Rebecca Hazelton on the Poetry Foundation’s blog gives other great examples of anaphora in action, from Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech to Homer Simpson. So today, I challenge you to write a poem that uses anaphora. Find a phrase, and stick with it — learn how far it can go. 


By Katarzyna Kijek & Przemysław Adamski

I write with repetition a lot anyway. I thought for hours earlier today, while I was working of course, about some serious stuff to write about.

But then this whole weird feeling thing hit me, that I get sometimes, not super poetic, and it goes kinda like this:


Right this minute:

I want to run in a straight line
as fast as I’ve ever run
to see how far I can get
before collapsing

I want to jump
out of my own skin
and run around
in just my bones

I want to move the furniture
with my mind
and make it float
in circles above my head

I want to sing
an Alanis song
right out loud
in a grocery store

I want to jump off a house
with an open umbrella
and float down down down
like Mary Poppins

I want to play with dogs
tons of dogs
hundreds of them
all at once

I want to paint the house
and stain the deck
and even clean the bathrooms

I want to tell
everyone I love
that I love them

I want to drink a Cherry Slurpee
from the 7-Eleven
brain-freeze fast

I want to swim
in the ocean
or a pool
or a lake
or a bathtub

I want to dance
to the music
in my head

I want to eat a lemon
that I just picked
right off of a tree

I want to sail
around the world
in a single day

I want to solve world hunger
and fix American politics
and make everything right

I want to take candy
from a baby

I want to buy
a round of drinks
for strangers

I want to climb a tree
and read a book up there
and never leave

I want to ride a bicycle
to the ice cream shop
and buy  a swirl
on a sugar cone

I want to stop
wanting all of these things
right this minute

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

What do you think?

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