3 Reasons Refrain in Poetry is Relevant to Freelancers


Refrain in poetry is a powerful poetic device used to create structure, rhythm and emphasis. Freelance writers can harness the power of this device to add creativity and depth to their writing. 

Refrain can change the game.


But if you’re not a poet, why should you care about refrain in poetry? Keep reading to find out. 

What is Refrain in Poetry?

A refrain in poetry is a repeated word, line, or phrase that appears throughout a poem. A good example of refrain that most people will be familiar with is the chorus of a song. This is the part of a song or poem that is easy to remember. 

So what is the purpose of refrain? Well, there are a few reasons why a writer may use this poetic device. Refrain is often is used to reinforce central themes, highlight key ideas or emotions, and to create unity.


In poetry, the refrain is often found at the end of a stanza (think Edgar Allan Poe’s famous “nevermore” in The Raven) to bring everything full circle—tie elements together and leave a lasting impression. 

Why Refrain is Relevant to Freelancers

Freelance writers can use refrain-like elements in creative ways to add style and voice into their work. 

Whether you’re writing articles, copy, or social media posts, incorporating refrain can help emphasize your key points, reinforce your client’s brand and messaging, and increase the artistry in your writing. 


Refrain can change the game.

Here are three ways freelance writers can utilize refrain in poetry.

1. To Emphasize Key Points 

In any piece of writing, the key takeaway often can be summarized into a few words. Using the technique of refrain is one way of making sure your key point does not go unnoticed.

By selectively repeating a certain word or phrase, you can increase your chances of the reader picking up what you’re putting down. 

How do you make your key points and your work memorable?

Strategically weaving repeated messaging throughout your writing can create a sense of familiarity. Readers will come to remember this refrain and it will stick with them long after they’re finished reading.

Refrain in poetry guide the reader’s attention toward significant concepts like a flashing neon sign draws the eye. Even if you don’t write poetry, you can employ this same technique in your writing to signal important ideas and arguments. 

Refrain can also be a powerful emotional tool that helps build a deeper connection with readers. When we feel emotionally connected to a writer or their message, we are more likely to engage with the content and take action. 

Refrain can change the game.

2. To Reinforce Brand

There is a lot of noise in the world and strong branding helps you stand out from the crowd Whether you’re promoting your own brand or your client’s, the message is the same—visibility is key!

How will readers connect with and remember one brand over all the others? 

Devices such as refrain in poetry help reinforce brand messaging. In this way, freelance writers contribute to a brand’s overall marketing efforts. 

Refrain can change the game. 

Whether it’s a tagline, jingle, or impactful phrase, refrain can establish brand recognition and reinforce brand identity.

Seeing and reading the same thing over and over again helps to ingrain the message into our brains and creates familiarity.

If you’re looking for ways to add flourish and pizzazz to your marketing campaigns, consider using refrain! Repetition, visibility, and consistency are all elements of strong branding so by finding creative ways to add refrain across all channels (such as social media posts, blog articles, advertising copy, etc.) you’ll create a cohesive and effective campaign with consistent messaging. 

image with a book flipping open to illustrate refrain in poetry

3. To Add Creativity 

After writing a few articles or blog posts on similar topics, many freelancers develop an article template to make the process more efficient. But what do you do when your articles start sounding the same?

Use refrain!

Infusing creative elements into your piece will help you find that unique angle, even if you’re following a template or outline.

Refrain in poetry and music helps create rhythm. And while most articles don’t call for musicality, there is something to be said for creating a pleasing cadence through how you structure your sentences, the words you choose, and how ideas flow. The unique rhythmic quality you create can help keep your reader engaged and enticed to keep reading. 

Another creative way to use refrain in poetry as a freelance writer is by experimenting with wordplay.

This is an opportunity to think outside the box and apply some creativity to the words and phrases. If appropriate, consider using rhymes, alliteration, or puns to add humor and surprise. 

Poets often use repetition to set the tone, create atmosphere, and help readers feel certain emotions. Freelance writers can adopt a similar approach by incorporating refrains that capture the desired ambiance or mood of a piece. An electrifying, punchy refrain can help create an upbeat feel, while a Sarah McLachlan SPCA-esque style refrain can tug at your reader’s heart strings (I’m not crying…you’re crying). 

Seriously, refrain can change the game. 

Writers, don’t underestimate the impact poetic devices like refrain can have on your writing!

Refrain can emphasize key points, reinforce branding, and improve the readability of every piece of writing. Whether you choose to focus on strategic repetition to drive home key points, establish familiarity, enhance brand recognizability, or add more artistic flair into your work, refrain can help you achieve it.

Your ability to craft memorable content that stays with readers will make you a valuable asset on any team. 

Of course, refrain can be overused so watch the balance and aim for a “less is more” approach.

Overuse can diminish refrain’s impact so use discretion and add it only where it fits best. 

If you’re looking for creative writing tools to add to your toolbox, dust off your poetry books, glean inspiration from poets like Poe and Frost, and change your writing game with refrain. 

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