Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt calls for one of my favorite and oldest used poetry styles, anaphora. Inspired by the Day 25 prompt on the NaPoWriMo website, here is my latest anaphora poem.

Day 25 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!”


Voiceless Anaphora

I give voice to the voiceless

To the lost

The wounded

The stolen

The denied

Damaged

And desecrated

I give voice to the voiceless

To the old

The sick

The homeless

The “disabled”

The “retarded” and “dum”

The losers and lames

The black sheeps

I give voice to the voiceless

To the never had beens

To the good for nothing

To the ain’t never gonna be

To the it you ain’t it

And never gonna be it

I give voice to the voiceless

I am the voiceless

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