Anaphora appears throughout the poem, providing structure via repetition to create a logical, easy-to-follow narrative. As an organizational tool, anaphora helps the reader understand what is literally taking place. At the same time, by repeating important words and phrases, anaphora also contributes to the poem's thematic meaning.
The speaker first uses anaphora when introducing the young girl. In the third stanza, he repeats “She” and “Her” at the beginning of successive phrases, offering details about the child's charming appearance. The repetition of these terms keeps the subject of his descriptions clear, focusing the reader’s attention on the child and creating a strong first impression.
Anaphora has a similar effect in lines 33-34, in which the speaker again describes the girl, this time addressing her directly:
“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
Here, the speaker attempts to explain to the child that she is different from her deceased siblings because she is living—free to move around on earth—while her brother and sister are immobile and buried in the ground. The repetition of the root “You” helps to distinguish the child from her siblings so that she might understand the speaker’s point. In other words, anaphora emphasizes that she is alive (and her siblings are not).
Furthermore, by introducing distinct people, objects, or ideas in the same terms, anaphora can also create or reinforce a connection between them. This effect can be observed in lines 19-23, where variations on “And two of us” introduce the child's various siblings as well as the child herself. Because she uses the same language for all the children in her family—no matter where they live or if they are living at all—the child suggests that each of the seven siblings are equally valid family members.
Later in the poem (lines 41-45), anaphora strings together all the ways in which the child spends time with her deceased siblings. Here, the child tries to explain why her departed brother and sister should be counted among her family members. The repetition of "my" highlights the child's presence at their graves, while the repetition of "And"—which is also an example of polysyndeton—creates the impression of a never-ending list. As such, the reader gets the impression that there is a mountain of evidence that supports the child’s point of view. Therefore, anaphora allows both the speaker and the child to express and substantiate their arguments.