Chiasmus

from Education Genius (Ft. Poetry Genius Editors & Rap Genius Editors) – Glossary of Poetic and Literary Terms on Rap Genius

Meaning

A 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. The elements of simple chiasmus are often given in the form ABBA, where the letters correspond to grammar, words, or meaning.

“By day the frolic, and the dance by night.”

-Samuel Johnson, “The Vanity of Human Wishes”

“Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget.”

-Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

(Source)

See also “Epanodos” below.

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