restricted access Glossary of Selected Technical Terms
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Glossary of Selected Technical Terms

This glossary includes definitions of selected technical terms used in the rhetorical analyses of the poems and references to examples in the texts (indicated by poem and line numbers) and commentary.


The repetition of the same sounds or set of sounds in a sequence of words (3.1; 7.20; 9.15-16). See also "Slant Alliteration" and "Phonetic Texture."


The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses (16.1-3).

Anaphora of Second-Person.

The repetition of the second person pronoun or adjective at the beginning of successive phrases or clauses is a common formal element of Greek and Latin prayers, and the form was adapted to the praise and supplication of human beings. Both uses were spontaneously taken into the Christian centuries (4.11-14; 10, 8 -10).


The "then" clause of a conditional sentence following the subordinate "if " clause, which is called a "Protasis." The "Protasis" in the following sentence "If you are unable to send down my mother," is concluded with an "Apodosis" "[then] make your rays, at least, double" (3.5, 7). See also "Protasis."


The transliterated Greek term means "uncertainty in finding the way forward." This uncertainty may arise from the number or diversity (or both) of possible choices. Aporia is often used at the beginning of a poem or a section of a poem to select a theme or subject. The process of selection rhetorically draws in the reader (1.1; 4.1). See also "Inexpressibility Topos" and "Priamel."

Ascending Tricolon.

Three successive words, phrases or clauses arranged in order of increasing length; such an arrangement focuses [End Page 175] attention on the final item (7.20; 16.1-4). See also "Descending Tricolon."


The omission of conjunctions between one or more coordinate phrases, clauses, or words in a series (2.1, 9.15-16).

Break-off Formula.

An apologetic technique in which an author "abandons a theme whose merits call for greater or lesser elaboration than he has given it" (Bundy, 1972, 47). Such a formula can close a poem or a unit within a poem in preparing a transition (9. 15).

Chiastic Order.

The arrangement of corresponding sets of words or phrases so that the second set are in the reverse order of the first set (A1 B1 B2 A2) (2.1). See also "Interlocked Order."

Contrasting Doublet.

Whereas a universalizing doublet designates a whole, using two opposites to designate the "all" they comprise between them, a contrasting doublet designates two opposites seen as separate and opposed (8.1-2).

Descending Tricolon.

Three successive words, phrases, or clauses arranged in order of decreasing length; as with an ascending tricolon, this arrangement focuses attention on the final item (9.11-12).


The omission of a letter or syllable between two words in a line of verse, usually a vowel sound or vowel + "m" at the close of the first word before a second word which begins with a vowel sound or "h" + a vowel sound (2.17; 7.10; 13.3).


The application or story that illustrates a general statement, maxim, or proverb. For example, the general statement (called a "Sententia") "Life is hard" may be illustrated by the "Exemplum" "Consider the life of Heracles." See also "Sententia."


A foil is an element - in character, action, setting, or statement - whose purpose is to create a background which by similarity or contrast (or both in combination) highlights another element. In some cases, elements are mutual foils for one another; in others, [End Page 176] the foil elements simply highlight the single point of climactic emphasis.


Two nouns in the same case connected by "and" whose meaning can be understood as a single noun modified by an adjective or a noun in a different case (13.1, 3).


This refers to the wide spatial separation of words closely connected in syntax. In Herbert's Greek and Latin, an adjective in a certain case is often placed at the beginning of the line or before the line's major caesura, creating the tension of anticipation for the noun it modifies, and the noun occurs at...