2020 Writing Exercise Series #212 Say Anaphora—Repetition Files 11

The Notebooking Daily 2020 Writing Series is a daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep your creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

These exercises are not meant to be a standard writing session. They are meant to be productive and to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink them, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

Say Anaphora—Repetition Files 11

For today's writing exercise you will write a piece of poetry or prose which focuses on repetition. In this instance we will work with anaphora. It's a handy little bit of poetic craft that goes a little something like this:

the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect.
Take a moment and read the above-linked Poetry Foundation article, even if you know the term. For even more fun check out this longer article called Adventures in Anaphora.

Your mission is to use the following phrase to begin at least 5 sentences.

The word or phrase we'll use for our exercise today is:


    I was inspired to choose "Say" because of recently re-reading Ada Limón's wonderful poem "The Conditional". There are a number of ways you could approach this bit of anaphora. Just be sure that the repeated phrase earns its worth in your piece. It should be necessary. Also be sure to follow Limón's lead and enjamb some lines so that the "Say" isn't exclusively at the beginning of the line. 

    Bonus Exercise: Include these five words into your piece "Deferred" "Fungi" "Idol" "Donkey" and "Junk".

    If you'd like some background music to write to, try "Chopin - Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2" (60 minute version) with rain sounds.