A Poem Using a Frequently Occurring Rhetorical Figure: “Paralipsis”

Though love poems are sometimes happy and sometimes sad, there’s no reason that one cannot also use a rhetorical figure to express its point.  Paralipsis is a rhetorical figure in which one vows that one is not going to discuss something, all the while mentioning it.  It is as if one were to say, “I have no intention of mentioning my opponent’s underhanded tactics!”  One is, thus, calling the tactics into prominence and awareness again, all the while saying one has no intention of doing so.  That’s what this poem is at least partly about.


I'm not going to speak about love, no,
For it gets me overwrought.
I've said all I'm going to say now,
I can't give love a thought.

I'm not going to think about love, no,
Why should I be upset?
I've considered the whole thing very well,
Or I'd be reflecting yet.

I'm not going to tumble in love, no,
It's made a mistake with me,
Because I'm in love right now, and it
Wears me down mightily.

I'm not going to write about love, no,
Or put my woes in verse;
For love has a way of sneaking in,
(Unless I'm very terse.)

©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 1/18/17

I hope you had some fun, at least, with this poem; I had, in writing it.  All for now!  Shadowoperator


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Filed under Full of literary ambitions!, Poetry and its forms and meanings, What is literature for?

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