Word Ways

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Notes on Palindromes


Robert Funt


Outside of Sotades, the inventor of the form, the greatest palindromist in history may well be the late-Victorian poet Edwin Fitzpatrick, now principally remembered for his translation of Omar Khayyam which he entitled "The Rubaiyat of Charades and Palindromes". Although his rendering has been termed eccentrick and even obscure by some, there is little doubt that he remained faithful both to the Tentmaker's rigid use of quatrains and his highly phantasmagorial sense of imagery.