NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-five Anaphora

My Last Straw

My last straw rhyming to a beat
My last straw trying to repeat
Anaphora may be last straw
As this poem persists to gnaw

My last straw cadence keeping count
My last straw easy to miscount
Eight syllables without a flaw
As this poem persists to gnaw

My last straw only five days more
My last straw repeating phrase tore
Away this verse… leaving it raw
As this poem persists to gnaw


NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our (optional) prompt. 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. Happy writing!

As the poem states, five more days! I don’t think I’ve reached my last straw yet, but come May 1st I’ll be doing a happy dance. For today this may not be my best work but it is written and keeping on is what counts.