Chiasmus

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Chiasmus

 

a type of antithetical parallelism in which the parts of two parallel elements are placed in reverse sequence, in the pattern ab = b1a1. An example is “It was not a grass-blade in the open field that was nodding,/Nodding was my poor little homeless head.” Sometimes the sense of parallelism is maintained by the repeating of intermediate words in the pattern abc = c1ba1, as in Pushkin’s lines Avtomedony nashi boiki,/Neutomimy nashi troiki (“Lively our Automedons,/Our troikas tireless”).

References in periodicals archive ?
Isabella is characterized in another pair of chiasmi, one by the Duke and another by herself during their prison conference.
Instead, Vail's study discovers a set of perhaps predictable chiasmi in their political and artistic lives, with Byron becoming more radical as Moore becomes less so, more Horatian as Moore becomes more Juvenalian, finding his poetic voice just as Moore loses his, and becoming more famous as Moore becomes less so.
This imprecision is inevitable and obvious, though significant, because of the received sense that antimetaboles and chiasmi should make for tidy and perfect inversions.