Poetic Form: Paradelle, need help to writte a palindrome poem

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Poetic Form: Paradelle

Well, well. Who’s tried writing a paradelle? It’s a poetic form that Billy Collins originally introduced as “one of the more demanding French forms,” though eventually Collins fessed up that he created it as a joke.

Collins was not kidding about the demanding rules of the paradelle. Here they are:

  • The paradelle is a 4-stanza poem.
  • Each stanza consists of 6 lines.
  • For the first 3 stanzas, the 1st and 2nd lines should be the same; the 3rd and 4th lines should also be the same; and the 5th and 6th lines should be composed of all the words from the 1st and 3rd lines and only the words from the 1st and 3rd lines.
  • The final stanza should be composed of all the words in the 5th and 6th lines of the first three stanzas and only the words from the 5th and 6th lines of the first three stanzas.

Poetic Form: Palindrome poetry (or mirror poem) By: Robert Lee Brewer

[Pasted from Original Source, Cited at end]

Just when I thought I’d run into one of the crazier poetic forms in the paradelle (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/personal-updates/poetic-form-palindrome-poetry-or-mirror-poem),

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):

“Witches burn”

Gypsies tell girls,
“Witches burn candles,”
and laugh. Cats
jump fences.
Shadows cast spells in
in spells cast shadows.
“Fences jump, cats laugh,
and candles burn witches,”
girls tell gypsies.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.



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