Comment on the repetition of the word "death" in T.S. Eliot's "Marina."

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Ah, isn't the repetition of "death" lovely! Remember the first two lines in English in the poem: " What seas what shores what grey rocks and what islands
What water lapping the bow" 

Those lines repeat "what." They are a question, as are the lines that follow. The narrator asks and asks and asks—and then the answer comes. It's always the same answer. Death. Death. Death. The word comes again and again like the waves lapping on the bow and the rocks.  The repetition creates a rhythm, but also a structure, a question and answer  structure that parallels the physical location: land and water, life and death.

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