Challenge: a ballad about a hero with anaphora or epistrophe

A ballad tells a dramatic story frequently written in four-line, rhyming verses. Anaphora is repetition of the same word (or words) at the beginning of multiple lines of verse. Epistrophe is its counterpart: repeated words appear at the end of lines.

I decided to use anaphora and write about a man who only imagined he was a hero.


The Fall of Mr. Grossman

Mr. Grossman, a mammoth without hair,
the VIP of the junior high,
announced the news with fleshy lips,
and several girls began to cry.

The teacher of the theater class,
with drama made his call,
his favored one would play the lead.
She was the best of all.

Mr. Grossman weighed three-hundred-three
and sponsored every dance.
He lumbered the floor in challenged shoes
and his signature, belly-stretched pants.

With glutinous eyes and flesh that lapped
he watched for any two locked tight,
then stepped between, and with bad breath,
banished the duo from the site.

Mr. Grossman, who lived with his mom,
and didn’t stint her dinners,
counted the votes for everything
and decided who’d be winners.

His fall came hard; his fall came quick;
‘twas prompted by his rage,
when the teacher, in an angry snit,
tried to leap from off the stage.

onto a wooden folding chair
that shattered ‘neath his weight.
Then Mr. Grossman, a whale aground,
entered an apoplectic state.

Students stared with mouths ajar
as, wearing bits of chair,
he rose and stomped toward the door;
then giggles filled the air.

Not knowing a seam had split and gaped
he turned as laughter swelled;
then at Mr. Grossman, tyrant of teens,
a rowdy student yelled,

“Mr. Grossman, shame, shame on you —
for indecent exposure and yelling,
you’re banished forever from the gym
and your mother we’ll be telling.”