Apr '14 26

X. Photo by Robert Rath from Robert's website.

Today's poem is a playful use of another kind of language constraint: palindromes. These are words that read the same forwards and backwards but that also have the same meaning both ways. I collected a long list from here. Then I ordered them into what turned out to be a rather surreal yarn.

I couldn't find a photo of Robert's that had a palindromic title, so I chose one with a single-letter title. It turned out to be visually appropriate.


Yawn a more Roman way

Kay, a red nude, peeped under a yak.
Lid off a daffodil. Loops at a spool.
Marge, let's send a sadness telegram.
Ma is a madam, as I am.
Name now one man. No devil lived on.
Ma is as selfless as I am.

Tulsa night life: filth, gin, a slut.
Party boobytrap. Pull up if I pull up.
Live not on evil. Name not one man.
No trace, not one carton.

        Rats at a bar grab at a star.
        Was it a rat I saw?
        Star rats. Stack cats.
        Was it a cat I saw?
        Too bad I hid a boot.

Was it a bar or a bat I saw?
Was it a car or a cat I saw?
Wonders in Italy, Latin is red now.
Tips spill, lips spit. UFO tofu.

Are we not drawn onward to new era?
Bombard a drab mob. Borrow or rob?
Cigar? Toss it in a can. It is so tragic.
Do nine men interpret? Nine men. I nod.

Cain: a maniac. Dammit, I’m mad.
Devil never even lived. Goddamn mad dog.
Red rum, sir, is murder. Wow.
Name no one man.

        Rats at a bar grab at a star.
        Was it a rat I saw?
        Star rats. Stack cats.
        Was it a cat I saw?
        Too bad I hid a boot.

Gate man sees name,
garage man sees name tag.
I did, did I? I’m a pup, am I?
God lived as a devil dog.
I’m a fool; aloof am I.

Won't I panic in a pit now?
Won't lovers revolt now?
Evil did I dwell, lewd I did live.
"Reviled did I live," said I, "as evil I did deliver!"

        Rats at a bar grab at a star.
        Was it a rat I saw?
        Star rats. Stack cats.
        Was it a cat I saw?
        Too bad I hid a boot.

        Rats at a bar grab at a star.
        Was it a rat I saw?
        Star rats. Stack cats.
        Was it a cat I saw?
        Too bad I hid a boot.

Posted by Jennifer Liston

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  1. Robert says:

    *Ok is there anyone here up to the challenge!!

    Did any one see how 'Are we not drawn onward to new era' is actaully read from right to left!!

    Gobsmacked! Amazing poem Jennifer Liston! :-)

  2. Jen says:

    *Thank you Robert. And just to repeat: I didn't come up with these palindromes myself. I selected them and structured the poem. xoxo

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