palindrome(redirected from Able was I ere I saw Elba)
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[Gr.,=something read backward], rearrangement of the letters of a word or words to make another word or other words. A famous Latin anagram was an answer made out of a question asked by Pilate.
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a sentence or verse that can be read, by letters or by words, backward or forward; both readings will make sense and usually will be identical. “Madam, I’m Adam” is an example of an English palindrome.
The artistic quality of a palindrome depends on the structure of a given language. In Russian and other European languages, palindromes usually sound artificial and unintelligible, whereas in Chinese, for instance, many highly artistic poems are palindromes. Examples of Russian palindromes can be found in V. V. Khlebnikov’s narrative poem Razin’s Boat and in works by V. Ia. Briusov, I. L. Sel’vinskii, and A. A. Voznesenskii.