Earlier this month I had a little fun writing a palindrome poem. Palindromes come in several forms. They can be words, such as “radar”. They can be sentences such as “Love in hair is hair in love” (I made this one myself). My friend in the photo up above inspired that one! They can be names or numbers too. You can find some fun examples here: Palindrome Examples. I have no idea about the “recreational mathematics” that article refers too. If it wasn’t for math I would have always been a straight “A” student in school, but no matter how hard I tried I usually fell in the 87-89% range 9/10 times and got a “B”. Words intrigue me more. I do wonder, could one write a palindrome poem with numbers and make it something meaningful? Hmmm. If you do, and would like to share it I will be impressed.
I’d have to agree with Mr. Brewer that palindrome poems aren’t very easy to write. He explains the rules and gives an example of his own in this article. I do find that when I write within specified constraints that it lends a fun challenge and creativity I would not come across writing free verse. This is worth the difficulty and temporary frustration.
For writers reading this, I will say that I took the easier way out in my first attempt, but this is a good strategy for use in the beginning of writing something new, and you can use it for any type of writing. There’s no shame when you CASE in writing. This does NOT mean that you plagiarize.
My writing professor encouraged us to CASE from high quality works. One classmate of mine followed her suggestion and took a short story and used the same kind of inciting incident, character types, climax etc. His story was still all his own however, and it turned out to be powerful and effective at pricking your emotions just like the story he CASED from. When he submitted it in a contest, he won an award! Yes, go ahead and imitate other authors you admire as you search for your own “voice” in your writing. This takes time and patience to develop for yourself.
Great writers do this, and if you want to be a better writer, you should too. If this sounds sketchy to you (or even if it doesn’t) consider the arguments in this article from The Art of Manliness: Copy the Work of Others. The authors speak of another practice of literally copying others’ written work (just don’t publish as your own in this case).
With my poem below, I imitated the structure of the palindrome poem here. This exercise still required me to stew over the words to use and their placement, but it was far easier to use this example as a guide before trying to do it all on my own. I think what came out isn’t too bad! Would I have created this on my own if I didn’t use the CASE method? No, I would not. I could not, and that, I think, would be a loss.
Have you ever attempted the challenge of a palindrome poem? Feel free to share in the comments! I’d also love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with copywork or imitating the writing of others. Why not try it this week? Happy Writing (and Copying)!
Lives Stoke Embers by Aubri Wilson Lives Stoke embers Always lighted, smoldering now, Warmed fingers held firmly, Flames burning the refining courage, Fear replaced. Impressions cultivating in mirrors shadowing, Gently twirling, Truths pondered Reproduce- Pondered truths. Twirling gently, Shadowing mirrors in cultivating impressions, Replaced fear. Courage refining the burning flames, Firmly held fingers warmed, Now smoldering, lighted always, Embers stoke Lives