You are angry
You are sad
You are glad
You are cranky
But always scary
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Trying out the chiasmus in ABBA CDDC CDDC ABBA format, playing with words I found online.
In response to Writing 201, Day 6: Faces, Found Poetry, Chiasmus
It doesn’t even have to be a real-life, flesh-and-blood face you’re writing about. Faces are ubiquitous in the texture of our daily lives, after all, from portraits in the museum and the banknotes in our wallets to billboards and street art and online profile pictures.
Today’s form: found poetry
Found poetry at a glance:
- A found poem is composed of words and letters you’ve collected — randomly or not — from other sources, whether printed, handwritten, or digital, and then (re)arranged into something meaningful.
Today’s device: chiasmus
Today’s device is one of my favorites: chiasmus. At its simplest, a chiasmus is essentially a reversal, an inverted crossing (it got its name from the greek letter chi – X).
From a fairly straightforward reordering of words — where A and B are repeated as B and A — a chiasmus can develop into more complex structures: instead of words, phrases. Instead of phrases, ideas or concepts. Chiasmus is effective in poems because it’s a form of repetition — and by now we all now how crucial repetition is for poetry. But the reversal injects the repeated words with freshness, and allows us to play with (and radically change) the meaning of a line.
If you’re into rhymed poetry, one of the most common ways of introducing chiasmus is in the rhyming scheme — ABBA is a straightforward one (i.e. the first and fourth verses rhyme, as do the second and third). You can go all out, though: ABBA CDDC CDDC ABBA, for example.