Antimetabole (an’-ti-me-ta’-bo-lee): Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.

We go forward, we go back. We go back, we go forward. Again and again. Nothing gets resolved. “Resolved” gets nothing.

He said, “Promises are made to be kept” and he kept promising and the promises were never kept. He said at the Town Hall Meeting: “Ask not what I promised, but promise what I ask.” We all looked at each other, stunned. What he had said seemed to carry some deep meaning.

But I didn’t care what meaning it carried. I was hungry and angry!

Tonight, I wave my axe handle and move along with the crowd. We are storming the White House. We are seeking justice for the lies we had been told. We don’t have a chance of breaking down the fence, but we are moving ahead anyway.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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