Palinode

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Geoffrey Chaucer was an exponent of the palinode

A palinode or palinody is an ode in which the writer retracts a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. The first recorded use of a palinode is in a poem by Stesichorus in the 7th century BC, in which he retracts his earlier statement that the Trojan War was all the fault of Helen.[citation needed]

The word comes from the Greek παλινῳδία from πάλιν (palin, meaning 'back') and ᾠδή ("song"); the Latin-derived equivalent "recantation" is an exact calque (re- meaning 'again' and cant- meaning 'sing').

It can also be a recantation of a defamatory statement in Scots Law.

Examples[edit]

Chaucer's Retraction is one example of a palinode.

In 1895, Gelett Burgess wrote his famous poem, 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.[1]

Later in his life, he followed it with this palinode:

Ah 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![2]

Ogden Nash wrote a palinode in relation to his most famous poem about the dandiness of candy, and quickness of liquor:

Nothing makes me sicker
than liquor
and candy
is too expandy

Palinodes have also been created by many medieval writers such as Augustine, Bede, Giraldus Cambrensis, Jean de Meun, Andreas Capellanus and others.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gutenberg etext". Infomotions.com. 2006-05-28. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of Quotations p.162