Chiasmus 16: phonemes and poetry

In his essay, ‘The ways of the possible: a textual analysis of “gifts of rain” by Seamus Heaney,’ Adolphe Haberer analyses instances of chiasmus in the poem at the phonological level.


I will focus on one line (the first) for the sake of time, and break it up as he does phonetically to reveal the pattern beneath:

“Cloudburst and steady downpour now”


A: kl d
B: b st
B: st d
A: d n

or aʊ st st aʊ.





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