Song of Songs
Chiastic Literary Structure
    Hebrew poetry is often written in the form of a chiasm (named for the Greek letter chi which looks like our X and sounds like the first part of "kind").  It is an arrangement by matching blocks of text where the first portion of the text corresponds to the very last by contrast or parallel.  The second matches the next to last, and so on to the center.
    The outline shown below is how I see it (after studying William H. Shea's work on the topic).  Note that block A is at the beginning and A' at the end.  The outline proceeds through the book by blocks going down the left columns and then, turning pages backwards, up the right ones (still reading down within each block). Certainly more structural detail is waiting to be discovered, and improvements may be made in the arrangement here presented.  Also structure may be seen in passages within the book.  For example, I have shown, by indents, a small chiasm at 4:12-16d.
Points of interest
  Comparing matching concepts shows interesting contrasts and parallels. For example, the woman in the B blocks had not kept her vineyard in 1:6 but has become successful in 8:11, 12.
  Block H has the end of chapter 4 compared to the beginning of chapter 5. From the point between them there 111 poetic lines in 60 verses on either side.
  My division into blocks has been partly by convenience and partly by themes. There is room for a good deal of improvement in my work. Richard Davidson has identified twelve macro-units in the book. These determine his blocks which match better and have greater detail. Journal of the Adventist Theological Society Autumn 2003, p. 44-65.
Song, Solomon's song, Request for his kisses, 1:1, 2. 8:13, 14 Bride to sound voice (to sing?)
Request for him to hurry
His love, her darkness 1:3, 4.
Her darkness 1:5-6b. (cross match with 8:10)
Angry brothers 1:6c.
The vineyard 1:6d
Her vineyard not kept 1:6d,e.
Her love. 8:6c-7
Accusing (or concerned) brothers 8:8, 9
Her maturity 8:10
Solomon's vineyard
Her vineyard (kept) 8:11, 12a.
She seeks pasture of the beloved 1:7, 8.
Selected by the beloved, love for each other 1:9 - 2:2
She requests acceptance by seal
heart and arm (spiritual and physical) 8:6a, b
Beloved like apple tree, shade, fruit 2:3.
She is brought to banqueting house
Banner over her
Sustained by raisin cakes, apples 2:4, 5
Held by his left and right hands
Charge (by gazelles) for love to wait 2:6, 7
Beloved calls, stands outside
Invitation for her to rise, come away 2:8-13
This block reversed to match (d' c' b' a')
She was awakened under apple tree at birthplace 8:5c-e
Leans on beloved; up from wilderness 8:5a, b
Held by his left and right hands
Charge for love to wait 8:3, 4
If like brother and outside, she would bring to mother's house 8:1, 2
Bride to be seen and heard in secret, rocks 2:14
Vineyards spoiled by foxes
Tender grapes / blossoms 2:15
Beloved called to field and village 7:11
Vineyards to be inspected
Bride promises love and reserved things 7:12, 13
Possession of each other 2:16
Beloved sent away till darkness flees 2:17
Determination to hold bride 7:8, 9a  Reverse order
Possession, wine; lips of sleepers 7:9b-10
Beloved is sought in bed and on streets 3:1-3
Found him
Would bring him to place of mother's conception 3:4
Charge (by gazelles) for love to wait 3:5
Solomon's couch coming with valiant men 3:6-8
Solomon made himself portable chair
Daughters to go see him with crown 3:9-11
Bride praised, eyes to breasts 4:1-5
He will go to mountain till day breaks
She is fair, spotless. 4:6, 7
Invited to come with him
She has ravished His heart 4:8-11
Sister/spouse is garden enclosed
  Water sources sealed
    All the spices
  Living water, streams
Blow on my garden, spices to flow out. 4:12-16d
Sleeping but awake
Beloved knocks; Bride's feelings 5:2-5
She opens but he has gone
She searches but does not find him
Watchmen wounded her 5:6, 7
Charge: Tell him I am lovesick 5:8
What is your beloved more than ...?
Chief among ten thousand
Body; he is altogether lovely 5:9-16
Daughters ask where he has gone
To his garden 6:1-3
Bride praised, head 6:4-7
She is the perfect one among many
Looks forth as morning: fair, awesome 6:8, 10
She went to garden; for maturity
She became as (or among) chariots 6:11, 12
Now called "Shulamite"
She dances
He praises her, feet to hair 6:13-7:7
Heart of literary structure.
Invitation for her beloved to come to his garden 4:16e,f
Text continues to top in right column reading down within each block
Response: I have come
My garden, my ... my ... my ... my
Friends invited to eat and drink 5:1.
Song home
Commentary home
Understanding this book
Time line parallels
Prophetic time periods
Literary structure (above)
Compare Dan. 10