Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fussy Little Forms: Palindrome

Toads! Let’s have some fun today. Let’s write palindrome poems! LOL.

We all know that a palindrome is a word or phrase that is the same when read forward or backward. Like WOW or CIVIC or LOL or HANNAH. (Hi, Hannah!) Heaven (Grace) introduced the palindrome in the Garden a few years back, HERE. It’s the same idea, except that a palindrome poem can read forward and backward word by word or line by line. Here’s a quick example that I wrote for Grace’s challenge, called “Minor Key Riots”:
Wayward
night, this feeling
like ripe dahlias--
Rioting,
escaping the laden
shrill étude
that is
Life--
Is that
étude shrill,
laden, the escaping,
rioting?
Dahlias, ripe like
feeling this night--
Wayward.
Since then, I’ve discovered the brilliant palindrome skills of smarty-pants comedian Demetri Martin, offered to you today for inspiration:
“Dammit, I’m Mad” by Demetri Martin 
Dammit I'm mad.
Evil is a deed as I live.
God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
Man, it is hot. I'm in it. I tell.
I am not a devil. I level "Mad Dog".
Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
In my halo of a mired rum tin.
I erase many men. Oh, to be man, a sin.
Is evil in a clam? In a trap?
No. It is open. On it I was stuck.
Rats peed on hope. Elsewhere dips a web.
Be still if I fill its ebb.
Ew, a spider… eh?
We sleep. Oh no!
Deep, stark cuts saw it in one position.
Part animal, can I live? Sin is a name.
Both, one… my names are in it.
Murder? I'm a fool.
A hymn I plug, deified as a sign in ruby ash,
A Goddam level I lived at.
On mail let it in. I'm it.
Oh, sit in ample hot spots. Oh wet!
A loss it is alas (sip). I'd assign it a name.
Name not one bottle minus an ode by me:
"Sir, I deliver. I'm a dog"
Evil is a deed as I live.
Dammit I'm mad.
Wikipedia says Martin wrote this poem about alcoholism for a fractal geometry class when he was an undergraduate at Yale. Showoff! :)  And Martin wrote a 500-word palindrome poem published in his first book, This Is a Book. The poem is HERE.

Amazing!! Okay, Toads--have at it, palindromes! Like a snake head eating the head on the opposite side (according to They Might Be Giants). 

9 comments:

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Loved the prompt, Marian!💜 Been practicing all day.. sharing my poem "My solace in the chaos." Happy Weekend everyone!☕

gillena cox said...

WOW im in. Will be back with my first ever Palindrome poem. Thanks Marian

Much💖love🌸

Marian said...

Blogger is killing me. Maybe you'll get to read my palindrome poem. Maybe not! Grrrrrrr

Kim Russell said...

Ooh, tricky but do-able! I've been inspired by today's changeable weather!

Vivian Zems said...

Hi Marian ! A challenge indeed, but I got to make it read forward/backward..line by line..phew!

brudberg said...

Made it simple... didn't reverse the words in the individual lines this time.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love palindromes but find them so difficult to write, for some reason.

Fireblossom said...

I don't know, I find this to be a case of form over function. I know some people love to just play with words, but it doesn't resonate for me. I find the poems given as examples to be extraordinarily choppy and confusing. Otoh, writing something that long in palindrome form would be quite an accomplishment and take a lot of work. I just don't see myself investing the necessary time and toil if it can't say what I want it to say. I'm sorry to be a wet blanket. :-(

Ekta Khetan said...

whoa! that was a tough one, for me. As I have never written something like this [as far as I remember]

So let's take a chance. Hope you all will like :)