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Poetry Competitions UK
14 Jun 2011

How to Write Echo Verse

A poem in which the last syllable or two of a main line is repeated, perhaps with different spelling or meaning, as if an echo; usually this echo will be indented to a point under or beyond the syllable it mimics and will function as an independent line of one or two syllables.

Sometimes the word echo will precede the repetition, like to identify the speaker in a play. Echo Verse can often serve an ironic purpose, the meaning of the echo conflicting with what the original sound means example 'know' echoed by 'no'. On the other hand an echo poem can be used simply as another kind of rhyme.

Here is an example:

Oh who will show me those delights on high!
Echo I
Thou Echo, thou art mortal, all men know.
Echo No
Wert thou not born among the trees and leaves?
Echo Leaves
And are there any leaves, that still abide?
Echo Bide
What leaves are they? Impart the matter wholly.
Echo Holy
Are holy leaves the Echo then of blisse?
Echo Yes
Then tell me, what is that supreme delight?
Echo Light
Light to the minde: what shall the will enjoy?
Echo Joy
But are there cares and business with the pleasure?
Echo Leisure
Light, joy and leisure; but shall they persever?
Echo Ever)

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