From A.Word.A.Day at Wordsmith.org:

palinode

PRONUNCIATION:

(PAL-uh-noad)  

MEANING:

noun: A poem in which the author retracts something said in an earlier poem. 

ETYMOLOGY:

From Greek palinoidia, from palin (again) + oide (song). It’s the same palin that shows up in the word palindrome…

NOTES:

The illustrator and humorist Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) once wrote a poem called The Purple Cow:

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

The poem became so popular and he became so closely linked with this single quatrain that he later wrote a palinode:

Confession: and a Portrait, Too,
Upon a Background that I Rue!

Oh, yes, I wrote ‘The Purple Cow,’
I’m sorry now I wrote it!
But I can tell you anyhow,
I’ll kill you if you quote it.

USAGE:

“The more lighthearted palinodes were more successful, such as Geoff Horton’s recantation of his youthful view that a martini should be shaken rather than stirred.”
Jaspitos; I Take It Back; The Spectator (London, UK); Jan 24, 2004.

Items to discuss may include hallucinogens used by Mr. Burgess, the proper construction of a martini, and whether Mrs. Palin will issue a palinode.

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