Palindromes – a great game for neurotics and a good idea for a Fibonacci poem.

I must like playing with words, I suppose I have always done it, but it is only in the last few years have a found an outlet for my neurosis by writing poetry, especially Fibonacci poetry based on precise syllabic patterns taken from the Italian mathematician Fibonacci’s sequence of numbers made famous in the book and then the movie, The Da Vinci Code.

Leonardo Fibonacci (c.1170 – c. 1250)

I have two new Fibonacci poems published in the latest issue of The Fib Review, a specialist journal for Fibonacci poetry, which was published this week  –  you can find it on the right of this page, see Muse Pie Press under LINKS. I have been writing Fibonacci poems now for two years and, as yet, I haven’t tired of the possibilities – I am, I admit it, a bit of a geek –  I have also been lucky that the Fib Review has now published many of them in consecutive issues.

It must, as I said, be something to do with word play but I am often finding myself scribbling down a Fib poem even in the unlikeliest of places. It is just one of my many word-related neuroses – another one is the obsessive habit of counting the number of letters in a word on my fingers during conversations. I wrote a poem about that too.

One of the new poems, Reflections,  is another piece of word play, a Fibonacci palindrome using words or phrases that can be read either backwards or forwards.  In this case, the poem can be read from the top or from the bottom. It is a game but it will only work as a poem if it has something to say – you, my dear readers, are the sole judges of that so I hope you will take a look.

Palindromes were first written thousands of years ago and there are examples from ancient Greece and Rome. Here is a rather sinister Latin one:

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

We enter the circle after dark and are consumed by fire.

Another palindrome game that has kept geeks amused since Roman times is the palindrome square, the earliest was this one found on a tablet of stone just outside the ancient city.

As I am sure you can see this can be read in all directions and still say the same not very exciting sentence: Sator Arepo tenet opera rotas  – the sower Arepo works with the help of a wheel. If you have nothing better to do today, you could always try making your own palindrome square – sadly it is the kind of thing that entertains me but then I’m a wolf.

One of the cleverest palindromes in English is the famous Panama palindrome – again it might not be funny but it is historically accurate and, in its own way, witty:

A man, a plan, a canal: Panama

Here are some more – enjoy, if you can, but if you can’t, just humour me, I’m just a sad poet.

Dogma: I am God
Ned, I am a maiden
Don’t nod
Kay, a red nude, peeped under a yak
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Never odd or even
Madam, in Eden I’m Adam

A slut mixes sex in Tulsa
Do geese see God?
Dubya won? No way bud
Murder for a jar of red rum
Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas!
Ah, Satan sees Natasha
Was it Eliot’s toilet I saw?
Go hang a salami; I’m a lasagna hog!
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus
Is it just me but is there a poem there?

2 Comments

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