Period


Period: The periodic sentence, characterized by the suspension of the completion of sense until its end. This has been more possible and favored in Greek and Latin, languages already favoring the end position for the verb, but has been approximated in uninflected languages such as English. [This figure may also engender surprise or suspense–consequences of what Kenneth Burke views as ‘appeals’ of information.]

What is time? “Time is of the essence,” as they say. But I ask, “The essence of what?” Of dread? Of hope? Of slowly decomposing into the earth and polluting the ground with a body saturated by decadence, debauchery, and woe? I am not sick, I am well. Yet I dwell in remorseful self indulgence: in time. Time, you are the heaviest burden. We carry you to the end. In death we drop you. I hate you, time, while I’m awake, but in dreams you are sometimes absent, like the cure of a disease. And I fell asleep.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text inserted by Gorgias.

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