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Journal of Literary Semantics

An International Review

Founded by Eaton, Trevor

Ed. by Toolan, Michael

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.38

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.122
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.575

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Volume 42, Issue 1


Cognitive chiasmus: Embodied phenomenology in Dylan Thomas

Jamin Pelkey
Published Online: 2013-06-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2013-0005


Chiasmus has long been discussed as a rhetorical figure for the symmetrical reversal of linguistic structures in oral and written texts. Recent treatments have begun to challenge this parochial status in ways that are reminiscent of the embodied metaphor revolution in cognitive semantics. This paper further develops the argument that chiastic schemas are a rich source of embodied cognition in need of broader recognition and deeper understanding. A cognitive poetic analysis of Dylan Thomas' iconic work “Vision and Prayer” facilitates this discussion. The dialectic weave of inverse structures and corporeal schemas that emerge from the poem illustrate the aesthetic ubiquity of cognitive chiasmus. Its lived, intertwining nature is proposed as an antidote to the “missing body” problem, as a more complex approach to cognitive symmetry and as a primary source of conceptual blending.

About the article

Ryerson University

Published Online: 2013-06-11

Published in Print: 2013-06-14

Citation Information: Journal of Literary Semantics, Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 79–114, ISSN (Online) 1613-3838, ISSN (Print) 0341-7638, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2013-0005.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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