A Palindrome Play on Words

A palindrome play on words
Bounties of the brain
Leaving us to ponder
Each line imploding meaning

Where you have to search
All that there dwells within
Such is the mind of mankind

It has a design

Eking compositions
Rich with strophic metaphors
Each in choral  mode

In verses of free form

Stanzas, staves, cantos — and more
Aimed for amusement
With you as the reader

Expeditiously the search
Looking for meaning
Borne with unrhymed cadence
A palindrome play on words.

About this poem

This poem, “A Palindrome Play on Words,” is written as an acrostic, in the form of the famous 19th Century palindrome “Able Was I Ere I Saw Elba,” falsely attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, although he did not actually say those words. It is claimed that this well-known palindrome, that reads the same backward and forward, first appeared in 1848, 27 years after the death of Napoleon and his historic defeat at the battle of Waterloo, his exile in Sant’Elena, his illness, and his eventual death. While recapturing this event in terms of its historic background, this poem takes a lighter, more humorous poetic look at palindromes and the power of an acrostic to merge itself artistically with a palindrome. This poem is written metrically, with a repeating 7-5-6 measure throughout the seven stanzas of the poem. The poem is also written in the format of a poetic Inclusio, with the opening and last lines of the poem being identical, serving as an envelope to “wrap around” the poem and to encourage reflection. Just for fun, try reading this poem forwards and backwards, to see if it makes or maintains sense in both directions of reading — a good exercise to involve both hemispheres of the brain. An observation: This is a “vertical” acrostic poem that contains four autonomous poems in the one poem entitled “A Palindrome Play on Words.” My artist daughter, Kali, describes this composition as a “Poemdrome,” in the sense that the poem when reversed, has the capacity of being another poem, very much like the metaphysical ouroboros, that bites its own tail. 

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Written on June 21, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on June 21, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on June 22, 2022

27 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Axbc dxx x xxx x xxb dcxA
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 477
Words 90
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 4

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem A Palindrome Play on Words with the community...

  • kali_p
    Or should I say, a Palinpoem?
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • kali_p
    LikeReply1 year ago


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"A Palindrome Play on Words" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/130437/a-palindrome-play-on-words>.

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