Poetic Techniques

Repeating different words or phrases creates structure within a poem, and it helps readers focus on a specific thought or emotion the poet would like them to notice.

Repetition In Poetry

What Is Repetition?

Repetition is a poetic technique used to draw a person's attention to a certain idea. Think about school. If a teacher wants to get her point across, is she going to say it once? No. She is going to repeat it multiple times so it begins to sink in. The same works with poetry.

How Is Repetition Used?

While the use of repetition doesn't necessarily mean a poem is wonderful, it does help bring a reader's attention to certain ideas, emotions, or thoughts. Sometimes a little repetition goes a long way. Too much repetition can make the poem boring to read, so it's a delicate balance.

This technique can be used in a variety of ways:
  • A word is repeated at different points.
  • A phrase is repeated.
  • One line is repeated throughout the poem.
  • An entire stanza is repeated.

If you want to write a poem with repetition, first think about the point you want to get across. What is the part you want your readers to focus on? Then plan on how you can incorporate a repeated word, phrase, line, or stanza into your poem.

Many times, repeated phrases or lines come at the beginning and end of stanzas or poems.

Examples Of Poems With Repeated Lines And Phrases

Best Kinds © Alex The best kinds of people are warm and kind, They are always there and they never mind. The best kinds of people smile and embrace, They support you with strength and grace. Source: Best Kinds, Poem on Friendship But You Didn't © Merrill Glass Remember the time you lent me your car and I dented it? I thought you'd kill me... But you didn't. Remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal, and you came in jeans? I thought you'd hate me... But you didn't. Source: But You Didn't, Famous Death Poem
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