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One of the best-known examples of epistrophe is Abraham Lincoln's description of democracy "of the people, by the people, for the people." A counterpart of epistrophe is anaphora where the same word or phrase begins a number of sentences, as in these lines from the poem "To my Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet:
"If ever two were one, then surely we.
Combine epistrophe and anaphora and you get symploce. Consider these words
from Anne Lindbergh,
Think about the resonance these rhetorical devices create. No wonder they are often used in speeches and poetry to magnificent effect. We'll look at more words about words this week.
A happy 2002 to all! May you never be at a loss for words in the new year.
2002 is a palindromic year. What's a palindrome? Text that reads the same
forward and backward, such as this URL:
epistrophe (i-PIS-truh-fee) noun
The repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses or sentences.
[From Greek epistrophe, from epi- (upon) + strophe (turning).]
"Epistrophe is also a Hillary specialty. That's the ending of phrases
with the same term. "If women are healthy and educated, their families
will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will
flourish. If women have a chance to work ... their families will
flourish." Obviously, Mrs. Clinton and her speech writer, Lissa
Muscatine, decided to push alliterative epistrophe."
The luck of having talent is not enough; one must also have a talent for luck. -Louis-Hector Berlioz, composer (1803-1869)
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