Parallelismus Membrorum

Parallelismus Membrorum or grammatical parallelism is of traditional Hebrew origin and dates back to biblical times. It is an independent clause presenting parallels or opposites in balance using contrasting and complimentary extensions.
The verse employs the same grammatical elements for each side of the parallel. This pattern is often used in prose poetry or is written in long lines often broken at the caesura into couplets making 2 short lines, 4 to 6 words each.
From the Hebrew text Proverbs 10:1
A wise son gladdens his father,
but a foolish son grieves his mother.
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Soft Spoken…Strong Voice(Parallelismus Membrorum)

Speak to me;
strong voiced I am;
I am the powerful wind
and softest feathers;
I’m just a person
not yet heard clearly
Don’t turn away
from what might be truth

Author Notes
Parallelismus Membrorum is of traditional Hebrew origin. It has lines of parallel construction and presents antitheses and complementary extensions. The lines are usually short and contain three of four words
Written September 14th, 200
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Do not let me enter;
do not shut me out;
I am the hurricane
and the gentle breeze;
I am a memory
you have forgotten
and I am the future
that will never be.
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A broader look:
Parallelism means giving two or more parts of the sentences a similar form so as to give the whole a definite pattern.
Parallelisms of various sorts are the chief rhetorical device of Biblical poetry in Hebrew.[1] In fact, Robert Lowth coined the term “parallelismus membrorum (parallelism of members, i.e. poetic lines) in his 1788 book, Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrew Nation. Roman Jakobson pioneered the secular study of parallelism in poetic-linguistic traditions around the world, including his own Russian tradition.[2] Parallelism can be found in several works by Edgar Allan Poe, namely “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee”.
In addition, Chinese poetry uses parallelism in its first form. In a parallel couplet not only must the content, the parts of speech, the mythological and historico- geographical allusions, be all separately matched and balanced, but most of the tones must also be paired reciprocally. Even tones are conjoined with inflected ones, and vice versa.[3]
“We charge him with having broken his coronation-oath – and we are told that he kept his marriage-vow! We accuse him of having given up his people to the merciless inflictions of the most hard-hearted of prelates – and the defense is that he took his little son on his knee and kissed him. We censure him for having violated the Petition of Right – and we are informed that he was accustomed to hear prayers at six o’clock in the morning.” (Macaulay)
“Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered).” a comment reportedly written by (Julius Caesar)
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessing; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” (Churchill)
“But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” (Amos)…
In grammar, parallelism is a balance of two or more similar words, phrases, or clauses. The application of parallelism in sentence construction can sometimes improve writing style clearness and readability. It can also strengthen sequences described. Parallelism may also be known as parallel structure or parallel construction. In English, parallelism of the predicate provides for one of the few structural situations in which the subject for each verb does not need restatement. Parallelism is often achieved in conjunction with other stylistic principles, such as antithesis, anaphora, asyndeton, climax, epistrophe, and symploce.
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My example
Affectation (Parallelism Membrorum)
There is no cure for faux affection
Except for early foe detection.
There is no balm for trust that’s lost
And both parties must bear the cost.
© Lawrencealot – July 13, 2014


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