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Poetry Friday: Playful palindromes

Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin

“A Toyota’s a Toyota,” and “Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog,” are palindromes that make me smile.

There is something wildly comforting about palindromes — a word or phrase that reads the same forwards as it does backwards. Neat and efficient, palindromes come full circle — literally.

The word “palindrome” is derived from the Greek words  palin (“again”) and dromos (“way, direction”) and was coined by English writer Ben Jonson in the 17th century. The first English palindrome appeared in 1614, “Lewd did I live & evil I did dwel.”

Palindromes can be short. “A man, a plan, a canal —Panama!” created by Leigh Mercer in 1948 is a famous example. Or they can be incredibly long. Some writers have written novels with thousands of words in palindrome style. Read more…

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