PUMPA - THE SMART LEARNING APP

Helps you to prepare for any school test or exam

Download now on Google Play

Theory:

Anaphora is one of the most commonly used rhetorical device. It is a type of repetition where a word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of a phrase, sentence, stanza, or paragraph. It is also known as Repetitio.
Pronunciation Guide:
Anaphora-- Ana (as in analyse) -- pho (as in phone) -- ra (as in Dora)
Let us consider the poem "Your Space" by David Bates as an example.
Example:
Speak gently! – It is better far
     To rule by love, than fear
Speak gently – let not harsh words mar
     The good we might do here!
 
Speak gently! – Love doth whisper low
     The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship’s accents flow;
     Affection’s voice is kind.
 
Speak gently to the little child!
     Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild:-
     It may not long remain.
 
Speak gently to the young, for they
     Will have enough to bear –
Pass through this life as best they may,
     ‘T is full of anxious care!

Speak gently to the aged one,
      Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
      Let such in peace depart!
 
Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
      Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
     Without an unkind word!
 
Speak gently to the erring – know,
     They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
     Oh, win them back again!
 
Speak gently! – He who gave his life
     To bend man’s stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
     Said to them, ‘Peace, be still.’
 
Speak gently! – ’tis a little thing
     Dropped in the heart’s deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
     Eternity shall tell.
The above poem is an example of anaphora because the phrase "speak gently" gets repeated at the beginning of each stanza.
 
The following example is an extract from a popular speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. The speech is known as "I have a Dream". It got its name from the anaphora "I have a dream". Interestingly, the popularity of speech can also be because of the repetition of the phrase.
Example:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Anaphora from the poem "Animals":
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long.
 
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession
 
I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?
 
~Walt Whitman
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Animals - Walt Whitman (pp. 83-84). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.