In "The Snare," the poet uses repetition. What is the effect of the use of repetition in the poem? I hear a sudden cry of pain! There is a rabbit in a snare: Now I hear the cry again, But I cannot...

In "The Snare," the poet uses repetition. What is the effect of the use of repetition in the poem?

I hear a sudden cry of pain!
There is a rabbit in a snare:
Now I hear the cry again,
But I cannot tell from where.

But I cannot tell from where
He is calling out for aid!
Crying on the frightened air,
Making everything afraid!

Making everything afraid!
Wrinkling up his little face!
And he cries again for aid;
—and I cannot find the place!

And I cannot find the place
Where his paw is in the snare!
Little One! Oh, Little One!
I am searching everywhere!

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this poem, the use of repetition has two key effects: urgency and emphasis.

First of all, it creates a sense of urgency. By repeating the phrase "I cannot tell from where," for example, the narrator emphasizes his sense of panic. He knows that there is a rabbit trapped somewhere in a snare, but he cannot find it. This creates an image in the reader's mind of the narrator frantically and desperately searching for the snared rabbit. Similarly, this is further reinforced by the line, "I cannot tell from where." Again, the narrator's desperation and need to act is apparent.

Secondly, the repetition also emphasizes the pain of the snared rabbit. The repetition of the line, "he cries again for aid," for instance, creates a strong auditory image in the reader's mind of the rabbit crying out in pain.  By repeating these lines, the animal's pain is at the forefront of the poem's message. Specifically, the message of this poem is that the pain of another living being must never be ignored.

schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two types of repetition in this poem.  One is the word "cry".  It ties the poem together, the rabbit is continuing to cry through the poem. 

The other repetition is the repetition of the first and last lines of the stanzas.  This adds emotion and immediacy to the poem. When you are looking for something and you have to shift focus from one area to another --- you continue your thought.  For example: at the end of the first stanza he says "I cannot tell from where".  Now he sifts his attention to another place and repeats "I cannot tell from where".  The second stanza ends with "Making everything afraid" and continues onto the third stanza as he shows his fear and frantically searches for the rabbit.  His frustration increases in the fourth stanza with the repetition of "And I cannot find the place!"  His anxiety and frustration increases with each repetitive line.