Literary Techniques of Repetition

Repetition in poetry (and literature) is a rhetorical device of using ideas, words, sounds, lines, or stanzas more than once in one poem. Literary Techniques of Repetition are used to increase: emphasize, enhance rhythm, deepen meaning, produce a powerful sound effect, increase memorability.

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Poetic Examples of Literary Techniques of Repetition


This literary technique involves repeating a statement or idea, intending to describe it or give more details about it. Amplification is used to clarify an idea and for emphasis.

example of poetry: Poems by Alice Eaglefeather

Freedom matters

Yes, Freedom matters

But no one knows if she breathes.

Is Freedom free to choose,

Free to go

Free to love

Free to be

Free to vote

Free to die

Free to debate?

And I want to reiterate

Freedom of the Press

Of course, Freedom matters

But does she live?

Sweet will be the day Freedom is

Free from bias

Free from prejudice

Free from the past

Free from clutter

Free from anxiety

Free from debt

If only Freedom was rent-free

Alas, Greed has her cold wicked blade

Pressed against Freedom’s throat

Greed is jealous, and at times, vile.

She has blood on her shoes

Those possessed by Greed are treacherous

They care not for their kin

“Pay for your beloved Freedom!” Greed howls-

Far away from the war, in some grand old hall

And you will. Because it is an honor to live and die

Fighting for the day Freedom rules


This is a combination of anaphora and epistrophe. That means one word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of a line and another at the end.

Look at you now

Look at you,

Now that you’ve lost me.

Just look at you now.

What a pity!

You didn’t listen to me. You didn’t care enough to know

Belittled my love, made me hate loving you. I bet you wish you hadn’t done that

What a crying shame. No really, it’s too bad.

Now you’re the one suffering. And I’ve moved on, my heart has a new love.

And you can do whatever you want! You’re no longer my concern

You put my love aside. You tore my dreams apart.

You were unkind. You broke my heart.

You stepped on all my sandcastles. You threw away the burning passion. It’s too late now

What a pity! What a shame, love.

Today, you’re the one crying. Now that it’s too late. 

Just look at the state of you

What are you doing here? Who would’ve thought we’d be here?

Oh, now you’re ready to listen

Fine, I’ll tell you. It’s not my fault that you made a mistake.

No, don’t say his name. He has nothing to do with this.

You see that door? It’s open. You can leave now.

No, I don’t need to tell you what he has that you don’t.

But here’s the truth. He was happy to take my hand when you let go

He accepted me and my flaws. He was there to dry my tears after you left.

He helped me up when all you did was put me down.

And I am with him now.

Read about other Types of poems here:

Common literary devices of repetition

The following is an alphabetical list of various forms of literary devices of repetition:

  1. alliteration
  2. amplification
  3. anadiplosis
  4. anaphora: “I have a dream” is repeated in eight successive sentences, and is one of the most often cited examples of anaphora in modern rhetoric. In rhetoric, an anaphora (Greek: ἀναφορά, “carrying back”) is a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis. In contrast, an epistrophe (or epiphora) is repeating words at the clauses’ ends.
  5. antanaclasis
  6. antistasis
  7. assonance
  8. chiasmus
  9. consonance
  10. diacope
  11. diaphora
  12. envelope
  13. epanalepsis
  14. epimone
  15. epiphora
  16. epistrophe
  17. epizeuxis
  18. mesarchia
  19. mesodiplosis
  20. negative positive restatement
  21. polyptoton
  22. refrain
  23. rhyme
  24. parallelism
  25. symploce

7 responses to “Literary Techniques of Repetition”

  1. […] See more on Literary Techniques of Repetition With Poetic Example! […]

  2. […] See more Literary Techniques of Repetition with examples! […]

  3. […] Check out more Literary Techniques of Repetition here! […]

  4. […] See an example of Literary Techniques of Repetition here! […]

  5. […] Repetition: Where a specific word, phrase, or structure is repeated several times, to emphasize aparticular idea. See our list of repetition techniques in literature with examples here. […]

  6. […] Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech is a classic example of anaphora. Read about literary techniques of repetition here. […]

  7. […] To add musicality to our writing, be it prose, drama or poetry, repetition is key. The word sonnet in Middle English means ‘denoting a song or ballad’. The sense ‘poem of fourteen lines’ is partly from Italian sonetto, from Occitan sonet, diminutive of son ‘a sound’. Today a sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes, in English typically having ten syllables per line. To read about other types of repetition techniques in literature click here! […]

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