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). 

10 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 :)

Chhavi Vatwani said...

I love the challenges that this community provides me every time. Been out of touch - but jumping back to challenge myself - and the community doesn't ever disappoint! Thank you so much!