Just when I thought I’d run into one of the crazier poetic forms in the paradelle (click to read Poetic Form: Paradelle), I tried my hand at the palindrome poem, which I think is much more difficult.
The rules are simple enough:
- You must use the same words in the first half of the poem as the second half, but
- Reverse the order for the second half, and
- Use a word in the middle as a bridge from the first half to the second half of the poem.
At first, the simplicity of the rules made me feel like this would be easy enough to do, but I ran into problems almost immediately. For instance, you can’t start the poem with the word “the” unless you plan to end the poem on the word “the.” And just because something makes sense in the first half doesn’t guarantee it’ll pass the same test on the way back.
Here’s my attempt (after messing around for some time):
Gypsies tell girls,
“Witches burn candles,”
and laugh. Cats
Shadows cast spells in
in spells cast shadows.
“Fences jump, cats laugh,
and candles burn witches,”
girls tell gypsies.
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