Since ancient times, repetition has been a bedrock of poetry. Both in written and oral traditions, poetic repetition helps shape rhythm.
That rhythm is what imbues poetry with that magical, spell-like quality. That certain je ne sais quoi. A transfixation of sorts, sprinkled with the faerie dust of rhyme.
One of my favorite bands, The Police, employs repetition in their lyrics for haunting often emotional effect. Who can forget your heart racing to the driving repetition in the refrains of “Can’t Stand Losing You” or “Driven to Tears?” To name a few.
Which brings us to the emotional impact of repetition. Whether a set-up or let-down, we cannot forget how we felt when caught in repetition’s metaphysical current.
Peter Sacks writes in The English Elegy (1987), “Repetition creates a sense of continuity, of an unbroken pattern such as one may oppose to the extreme discontinuity of death.”
I love that notion. And I think this poem tries to capture that exact idea through repetition. Except for the last stanza where the “at rainbow’s end” mantra changes to “this rainbow’s end.” Why? To what end?
As always, would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section below.
-PS Conway ☘ 🌈 ☘