Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dalinar (National Poetry Month: Day 13)

He is weak,
a man who thinks
the world relies on him.
To be saved
he obeys
these words and teachings,
a forgotten king.
This man may become
our only hope, though
it is
so difficult to see.
Remember this truth:
Strength before weakness!
Remember this truth,
so difficult to see.
It is
our only hope (though
this man may become
a forgotten king)--
these words and teachings
he obeys.
To be saved,
the world relies on him:
a man who thinks
he is weak.


This poetic form, an adaptation of the reverso, is particularly appropriate for its topic. The poem is a reference to Dalinar, a character from Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings. Dalinar lives in a world where palindromic repetitions are a fundamentally valued aesthetic.

For true reverso (in which the two halves are separate poems rather than concatenated as I've done here), read Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer, or check out this site.

The reverso is distinct from the palindrome poem, in which the words, not the lines, read the same in reverse. Some examples of palindrome poetry can be seen here or here.

1 comment:

  1. Another favorite. How do you plan these out so they make sense and sound poetic, all while following such a stringent structure?