Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chiasmus in My Wardrobe

I wore chiasmus this week!  That probably doesn't make any sense to you.  If it does, (or if you don't care for an explanation) you're welcome to skip my explanation by clicking here.  If it doesn't, please partake of my explanation by reading on.

Chiasmus is a rhetorical device where clauses are related to each other and repeat in a reverse structure to make a larger point.  There can be many repeating clauses but each clause usually has an echoing clause later on.  If each clause is represented by a letter, you'll get a structure that follows the pattern of A B C C B A.

That explanation may not have made total sense.  But, luckily for you, Chiasmus is heavily used in many religious texts.  Ancient people used it as a form of poetry.  So I'll share a couple examples so you can make sense of it.

First, from the Book of Mormon: (Mosiah 3:18-19)

A "…but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves
    B and become as little children,
        C and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
            D For the natural man
                E is an enemy to God,
                    F and has been from the fall of Adam,
                    F1 and will be, forever and ever,
                E1 unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,
            D1 and putteth off the natural man
        C1 and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord,
    B1 and becometh as a child,
A1 submissive, meek, humble…"

Here's a simple example from the Bible: (Matthew 19:30)
A "But many that are first
    B shall be last;
    B1 and the last
A1 shall be first

So why are we geeking out about an obscure form of Hebrew literature?  Well, first, because it's awesome.  But, the more immediate reason is what I mentioned above.  I wore chiasmus!

That still may not make sense, but let me just share with you what I wore this week.

Sunday: Pi
 Monday: Bazinga
 Tuesday: Bacon
 Wednesday: No raptors allowed
It should be noted that I love raptors.  I'm really just trying to say, "no raptors beyond this point."  As long as they stay further away than my shirt, we're totally good.
 Thursday: Bacon
 Friday: Bazinga
 Saturday: Pi

You know what didn't happen this entire week?  Nobody came up to me and said, "Hey!  Nice chiasmus!"  I was poetry in motion, but no one noticed.

Perhaps it was because I didn't repeat the middle clause.  It's unfortunate that  there is an odd number of days in a week.  Otherwise, I'm sure everyone would have noticed.


  1. I love your dedication to poetry. If I had seen you this week, I'm sure I would have noticed. :) Okay, maybe not. But now that you've mentioned it, I'm really impressed.

  2. You're so literary! Thank you for sharing your palindrome wardrobe, it made my day.

  3. I do love the chiasmus, but may I make a small recommendation: next time wrap it in bacon. Everything's better if it is wrapped in bacon.

    Also, thanks for giving me the option to skip the explanation. It made it a quick read.

  4. This is a much more interesting chiasmus than Alma 36

  5. Sometimes people tell me I'm a geek... but... I can't even come close to your level of geekiness...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...