Explain the use of repetition in the poem "Mooses" by Ted Hughes.

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The repetition in this poem is subtle. Rather than repeating whole phrases or lines, the poem features frequent alliteration (the repetition of a word's first letter or sound across adjacent words) and anaphoras (the repetition of the first word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses). 

The poem's final line, "Two dopes of the deep woods," is one great example of alliteration. Notice the "d" sound at the beginning of "dopes" and "deep." Another example of alliteration in this poem is the line "Hopeless drops drip from his droopy lips." Again, the "d" is repeated here. The alliteration in both of these lines, especially in the poem's final line, creates a kind of sonic punch for the reader that helps to make each line stand out. The alliteration also creates a rhythm and a sing-song effect, almost like a child's nursery rhyme, which emphasizes the silliness, helplessness, and "dopiness" of the moose.

The line "He bumps, he blunders, he stands" is one example of anaphora in the poem. Notice the repetition of "he" across the three clauses. Again, this anaphora creates a sing-song rhythm, emphasizing the ridiculousness of the moose and his frantic actions.

Hughes also uses this repetition to create a subtle tone that is both mocking and sad. Using the poem's alliteration and anaphoras, which create a childlike, almost ridiculous sing-song rhythm, Hughes underscores how silly and sad the moose is in his feelings of despair and lostness. The repetition thus helps drive the point home that the moose's blundering in the poem mirrors the ways in which humans blunder around trying to find their identities and meaning in their lives.

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