Chiasmus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the figure of speech in which two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point; that is, the clauses display inverted parallelism.

So they’re mirrored (like the shape of the letter X… Greek letter chi… chiasmus…). Think ABCCBA, or ABCDEDCBA, or whatever. This is really common in the Bible, e.g. Isaiah 6:10:

A “Make the heart of this people fat,
B and make their ears heavy,
C and shut their eyes;
C lest they see with their eyes,
B and hear with their ears,
A and understand with their heart, and convert [return], and be healed.”

And in songwriting, e.g. Snoop’s Gin and Juice:

I got my mind on my money, my money on my mind.

Or the wisdom of Stephen Stills:

If you can’t be with the one you love, honey / Love the one you’re with.

You also see chiastic structure for an entire work, like the Song of Songs or Paradise Lost.

Man, I really like words.

Chiasmus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia