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Re: Hebrew poetry was Re: Insane Question

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 17:15
At 7:33 PM -0600 1/27/03, Peter Clark wrote:
>On Monday 27 January 2003 01:01 pm, Karapcik, Mike wrote: >> Old Semitic poetry is often described as "step poetry". In this, >> one phrase or idea is repeated regularly and expanded upon each time. > The basic unit of the (Biblical) Hebrew poem is the colon (plural cola). >There is usually a balancing between combinations of cola, which is refered >to as parallelism. The most frequent combination is the bicolon (two cola in >parallelism; e.g. Ps. 1:6) with the tricolon (three cola in parallelism; e.g. >Ps. 100:1) and monocolon (one colon standing alone, e.g. Ps. 1:1a) occuring >at times as well. > There are three common types of parallelism, the first, synonymous >parallelism, states that A is essentially parallel in meaning to B (Ps. >20:1). The second, antithetical parallelism, constrasts A and B (Ps. 20:7). >The third, synthetic parallelism, is more of a catch-all category, in that >the relationship between A and B is much looser, which include: >(1) a statement or reason (B gives reason for A, often connected by "because" >or "for") >(2) statement/question (A or B is a question, e.g. Ps. 6:5, 119:9) >(3) statement/refrain (refrain B s repeated throught the psalm section) >(4) comparison (A is a simile, withe B expressing the reality of the >comparison, e.g. Ps. 103:13) >(5) progression (B extends or develops the thought found in A, e.g. Is. 40:9, >Ps. 1:3) >(6) specification or explanation (B explains or makes the thought in A more >specific, e.g. Ps. 18:24, Ps. 72:9) >(7) statement/result (B provides the result or purpose of A, often connected >by "to" or "that").
Don't forget chiasmus; elements of the first line are repeated in reverse order in the second. This pattern can be extended through a whole passage spanning several verses. Some notable examples include: Gen 7: 21-23; Ps 3:7-8; Ps 58; Ps 64; Ps 67; Ps 86; Isa 55:8-9. It's more of a technical trick than a semantic category, but it seems to be very characteristic of Biblical verse. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "It is important not to let one's aesthetics interfere with the appreciation of fact." - Stephen Anderson