Chiasmus

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Related to Chiastic quotation: Periodic Structure
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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”).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.