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Parallelismus Membrorum or Gramatical parallelism


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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Semitic Verse

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.

Probably one of the best known examples of "grammatical parallelism" comes a little later in the Christian text, Matthew 5:3-11, commonly known as The Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven,
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
------------------------------- for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
------------------for they will be called the children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
----------------- for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
----------------and utter every kind of evil against you because of me.
----------------Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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