Anaphora, anaphora, anaphora!

Anaphora: the same word or phrase at the beginning of a series of sentences or clauses.  

Anaphora comes from the Greek word ἀναφορά (carrying back). Αναφορά derives from the preposition ἀνά (up) and φέρω  (I carry). This, of course, gives us the literal translation, “I carry back”.

 When we employ anaphora, we repeat the same word at the beginning of two or more succeeding verses or clauses of a sentence.  Literally, we “carry the same word, or phrase, back” to the beginning of each sentence.  We do this to show emphasis.

For example:

“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?”

– St. Paul

“We shall go on to the end.  We shall fight in France.  We shall fight on the seas and ocean  We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be.  We shall fight on the beaches.  We shall fight on the landing grounds  We shall fight in the fields and in the streets  We shall fight in the hills.  We shall never surrender.”

– Winston Churchill

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.  For want of a shoe the horse was lost.  For want of a horse the rider was lost.  For want of a rider the message was lost.  For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.  And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

—14th century proverb