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Literature Text

Sotades invented palindromes in Greek-ruled Egypt, back in the 3rd century BC. In fact, palindromes were once known as "Sotadic verses." He was thrown into the sea (wrapped in lead) by King Ptolemy II, for insulting the king in one of his verses.

They were quite popular in the 1800's, but have not shared much popularity since around the 1930's.

Palindrome comes from the Greek words "palin" (again or back) and "dramein" (to run). So if you read that backwards, it translates loosely into "to run back."

The palindrome simply reads the same forwards and backwards, usually with a central focal point from where it begins to read backwards. There are several ways to write palindrome poems, three are presented here, along with examples.

1. It can be read backwards, with the same words, such as the example below.


Love/Hate Relationship
by Paula Brown

Mimics hate:
Passionate always, forging forward.
Unquiet rage screams
Tangled mercilessly;
Mercilessly tangled.
Screams rage, unquiet.
Forward forging, always passionate:
Hate mimics

2. Here is another way of writing a palindrome poem, more difficult-- it reads the same forwards and backwards by letter.

Mood's mode!
Pallas, I won!
(Diaper pane, sold entire.)
Melt till ever sere, hide it.
Drown a more vile note;
(Tar of rennet.)
Ah, trowel, baton, eras ago.
The reward? A "nisi."  Two nag.

Otary tastes putrid, yam was green.
Odes up and on; stare we.
Rats nod. Nap used one-erg saw.
(May dirt upset satyr?)

A toga now; 'tis in a drawer, eh?
Togas are notable.
(Worth a tenner for Ate`.)
Tone liver. O Man, word-tied I.

Here's revel!
Little merit, Ned? Lose, Nap?
Repaid now is all apedom's doom.

--by Hubert Phillips:

3. Another version of a palindrome poem is the line palindrome, which reads forwards and backwards, by lines.

As I was passing near the jail
I met a man, but hurried by.
His face was ghastly, grimly pale.
He had a gun.  I wondered why
He had.  A gun?  I wondered... why,
His face was *ghastly*!  Grimly pale,
I met a man, but hurried by,
As I was passing near the jail.

-- Author Unknown

Some information gleaned at this helpful web site:…
pamelaski is on a roll, and here's yet another write-up on a fun, and challenging poetic form-- the palindrome poem.
© 2004 - 2022 poetic-forms
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SkippyJr's avatar
Tridelvior's avatar
oh cool... i did a line palindrome once.. i just wish that it hadnt been invented already :slow:
wow... thats impressive...i like it
i want to write a palindrome
phillips must have known what he was going to say before he said it
i never know what im going to say before i say it
thecolourblue's avatar
I wrote a palindrome poem today, and submitted it at [link] . Read it if you'd like, and let me know what you think. :)
curiosity's avatar
Drugs. Lots of drugs.
DeviousDefiance's avatar

All I can say is wow...

These things are crazy.

I'd love to see someone with the time and patience here on dA to craft one akin to the Phillips poem.

~ Def :jsenn:
wombatical's avatar
Jesus Christ. Whos crazy enough to write a whole poem forwards and backwards by letter???!!
That Hubert Phillips was one crazy fellow
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