What is the difference between a motif and a repetition in a poem? Could you give me an example as well?

1 Answer
Jul 20, 2016

A motif is something of a theme in a poem, and repetition is just something that repeats often. Sometimes, repetition can contribute to a motif, and sometimes motifs can be harder to find. See below!


Here is an example of an "I Am" poem:

"I am polite and kind
I wonder about my kids’ future
I hear a unicorn’s cry
I see Atlantis
I want to do it all over again
I am polite and kind

I pretend I am a princess
I feel an angel’s wings
I touch a summer’s cloud
I worry about violence
I cry for my Gram
I am polite and kind"

The repetition in these stanzas are the uses of the first person perspective and the sentence "I am polite and kind". The motif, however, is the fact that the person who wrote this person is describing themself. You know it's a motif because it's a theme that reoccurs throughout the poem.

Does this make sense? Please let me know!