Some while ago I wrote a series of posts on the subject of ancient middle eastern poetry (for example http://richardabbott.authorsxpress.com/2012/07/24/%E2%80%98in-a-milk-and-honeyed-land%E2%80%99-and-ancient-poetry-2/). One of the topics I covered was chiasmus, a literary device where parts of a phrase or pair of lines of poetry are crossed over. A good example from the biblical book of Joshua is:
Then still the Sun
and Moon was stopped
Now, at the time I commented that this is only rarely seen these days. Well, the other day I was walking in Hampstead Garden Suburb (in North London) when I saw a courier van making a delivery. Imagine my delight when I saw that the slogan on the driver’s cab was “Delivering the promise that others promise to deliver”!
How cool was that? It certainly made me look twice, and if I ever had need for courier services – which admittedly is unlikely just now – I’d look them up. Now, that part of London has a large Jewish community, and good representation of other middle eastern groups as well. So I did wonder if this was a bit of long-standing cultural identity being expressed in a commercial slogan. Whatever the case, it was great to see chiasmus alive and well in the year 2012!
To track down examples of chiasmus in In a Milk and Honeyed Land, why not check out http://www.kephrath.com/WhereToBuy.aspx and get your very own copy!