Repetition Examples In Poetry

Repetition is a literary device used to secure emphasis in the repetition of words, phrases, lines or sentences. The readers will find the definition of repetition and repetition poem examples in this article.


It is a literary device used to secure emphasis in the repetition of words, phrases, lines, or sentences. It develops feelings or ideas and creates rhythm and a sense of urgency in a sentence. Repeating words in a sentence makes the words practical and the whole statement prominent.

It is a helpful tool for the writer to understand his reader the importance of the statement and to develop a lasting effect on their minds. Readers understand the true spirit of the statement that writers intend to make them know.

  • Research Question
  • Full Stop in a Sentence


Originated from the old French word ‘repeticion’ and was firstly used in late 15th century.

Examples of Repetition

  1. Hatred was spreading everywhere
    Blood was being sailed everywhere
    Wars were breaking out everywhere

In the above lines, the word ‘everywhere’ has been used in order to create rhythm and has been repeated in the lines to create sense of pattern or form.

  1. Politician declared that we will fight
    for come what may, we will fight on
    all front, we will fight for a thousand’s year.

Here the words, ‘we will fight’ have been used repeatedly with the variation of sound in order to create emphasis.

  1. If you have decided that you will go there,
    You will go there.

The words, ‘you will go there’ are showing the intention of someone which has been repeated to create emphasis.

Repetition of a Word or Phrase

Repetition is the act of repeating a word or phrase.

Repetitions are often used to emphasize a point and create rhythm.

The following sentences contain repetition:

  • “The man who lives in the glass house should not throw stones.”
  • “The world has changed since you were young.”

The following sentences contain words or phrases that are repeated.

  • “The tree is in the garden.”
  • “The sun is hot.”
  • “I like green apples.”
  • “We have a new car.”
  • “I can’t find my keys.”
  • “Can you come over right now?”

Repetition Examples in Poetry

Poems have a musical quality to them. A tool to create rhythm and sound in their poem is by using repetition. Here the following poems can best describe the repetition.

“Click Beetle” by Mary Ann Hoberman

Click beetle
Clack beetle
Snap-jack black beetle
Glint glitter glare beetle
Pin it in your hair beetle
Tack it to your shawl beetle
Wear it at the ball beetle
Shine shimmer spark beetle
Glisten in the dark beetle
Listen to it crack beetle
Click beetle
Clack beetle

In this poem, the repetition of the word ‘beetle’ creates a rhythmic effect, creating a sense of pattern and form of work. The variation of the sound ‘beetle’ also indicates its importance.

“I am Car Sick”

I am car sick.
Open a window.
I am car sick
Take this pill.
I am car sick
Rest your eyes.
I am car sick
Shhh. Be still.
I am car sick.
Drink some ginger ale.
I am car sick.
Can you try to wait?
I am car sick.
Now we are almost there.
I feel better.
Darn! too late.

Repetition of a word sometimes gives an idea or is used to emphasize a particular point. Here in this poem, the repeated words ‘I’m car sick’ is actually for the writer who is ‘car sick.

“Essay on Milton” by Macaulay Culkin

But there are a few characters which have stood the closest scrutiny and the severest tests, which have been tried in the furnace and have proved pure, which have been weighed in the balance and have not been found wanting, which have been declared sterling by the general consent of mankind, and which are visibly stamped with the image and superscription of the Most High.

Here the above highlighted words are creating sense of repetition.

“The Rime of Ancient Mariner” by (S.T. Coleridge)

Alone, alone, all all, alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea.

‘Coleridge’ has employed the device of repetition skillfully in order to stress the atmosphere of loneliness.

Lycidas by John Milton

For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his pe

“Lesiure” by (W.H. Davies)

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

Here in the above poem, the word ‘no time’ is used repeatedly, creating a rhythmic effect in the poem. This repetition also creates a sense that the writer is emphasizing the importance of time.

Hoarding by McGough

“all too busy boarding
Thirty year old numbskull
With a change of dirty coats
Every single day gets porridge
But never gets his oats

all too busy boarding
the xmas merry-go-round

old lady sits by the firegrate
knitting a pudding with twine
dreams of brandy sauce
drinks methylated wine

all too busy boarding
the xmas merry-go-round

hoarding, hoarding, hoarding.

How do you Like to Swing?

How do you like to swing?
Straight up and straight down?
In a circle, round and round?
Near the sky or near the ground?
On your bally? On your seat?
Do you ask for a push?
Do you use your own feet?
Now do you like to swing?
Wide-eyed or dreaming?
Do you sometimes sing a song?
Do you pump for just live minutes?
Could you swing the whole day long?

Here in the above lines, the words ‘do you like to swing’ have been used repeatedly. The writer actually tells the modes to his readers to get them to know how they can swing.

Thackeray on Swift

“These are my brains, with these, I will titles and compete with fortune. These are my bullets; these I will turn into gold”.

Repetition Examples In Poetry
Repetition Examples In Poetry

Repetition Vs. Refrain

Repetition and refrain are two of the most common techniques in writing. Repetition is the act of repeating a word, phrase or sentence within a piece of writing.

Refrain is a short section that is repeated throughout a poem or song as an accompaniment to the main melody.

The purpose behind repetition and refrain is to emphasize certain concepts or ideas. Repetition allows writers to emphasize key points central to their argument, while refrain helps them emphasize major themes within their writing.

More to read: 75 Literary Devices With Examples

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