Polysyndeton It is a term that comes from Latin polysindeton, although the farthest etymological root is found in the Greek language. It is a Figure of speech which is based on the repetition from conjunctions to reinforce the expressiveness of a notion.
This implies that, when you appeal to this figure , propositions or terms will be linked by a greater number of conjunctions than would be normal or correct.
An example of polysyndeton would be the following: “I love the sand and the sea and the palm trees and the seagulls and the sun that illuminates me in my glory days”. As can be seen, the excessive repetition of the conjunction "and" It constitutes a polysyndeton.
"I will visit you but when the time is right but it is difficult for that time to come but I always want to visit you" is another one example of an expression that appeals to polysyndeton. In this case, the conjunction that is repeated is "but".
With the conjunction "neither", a sample of polysyndeton would be the following: "I am not communist or socialist or liberal or anarchist or developmentalist or progressive or conservative: simply, I am".
It is worth mentioning that the polysyndeton is not a widely used figure, since it gives the expression a structure that can be uncomfortable. Its use appears in specific cases, when the author wishes to provide a certain poetic flight to his text and, in turn, highlight a emotion or a thought . In other contexts, polysyndeton could be understood as an error or as an inappropriate way of expressing itself.
Some of the writers who have made a masterful use of polysyndeton, also indicating one of the works in which it is possible to find this figure are Rubén Darío ("Song… " and "Fatal"), Mariano José de Larra ("The Good Night of 1836"), Emilia Pardo Bazán ("The revolver"), Jose Marti ("Our america"), Miguel de Unamuno ("My religion" and "Saint Manuel Good, Martyr") and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer ("Laziness").
It is important to note that the polysyndeton has not only been included in several of the most important works of literature worldwide, both in the genre of poetry and in narrative, but that we can also find it in lyrics of songs contemporary
The figure rhetoric opposite or complementary to polysyndeton is called asyndeton and it consists in the omission of certain conjunctions with the objective of energizing or fueling an idea. For example: "For this party we want to invite our friends, our family, who have collaborated with our project from day one". As well as the polysyndeton, it is not a very common resource and which should not be abused, since it can cause the opposite effect to the desired one.
As with the polysyndeton, asyndeton has been used by many of the great writers of history, and continues to be a resource enriching for current works in various genres; let's see some of the most outstanding examples: Manuel Mantero ("On top"), Gustavo Adolfo Becquer ("Laziness" and "The mount of the souls"), Mariano José Larra ("The Good Night of 1836") and José Martí ("My race").
In all the works mentioned as examples of polysyndeton and asyndeton it is possible to notice enumerations in which various effects are sought through the repetition Excessive conjunctions or their omission, but it is also appreciated that the use of these figures is not always isolated, but can be built gradually, to generate a growing tension. In a poem, for example, the presence of these resources can be highlighted through the contrast between verses that use them and others that do not.