What is a palindrome?

O, television sad as night.

O, Eliot.

"To I, Lester"

A cotton eve,
O, trap! Eden!
O, television sad as night.
I wonder if senile sirs tell war days,

Words selfless, drowsy...
A drawl lets rise lines fired

With gin:
Sad as "no" is,
I've let one depart.
O, eve--
Not to care...

--T. S. Eliot

so... what's a palindrome?  Try reading Eliot's poem backwards, slowly, letter by letter.

Words such as "radar", "I", "eve", "deed" and, the longest in English, "redivider" are palindromes. Finish is a language famous for its palindromes and has some much longer than this!  Just ask a Finn.

Phrases can be palindromes too: "Madam, I'm Adam" and the timeless classic,"A man, a plan, a canal... Panama!"

DNA, the molecule, has palindromes in its base pair sequence, that is, in its genetic code. This refers to a segment of DNA in which the nucleotide sequence of one strand is the reverse of its complementary strand -- also known as an inverted repeat.

In DNA, the dance, by Palindrome Intermedia Performance Group, the male's dance forward is the female's dance backwards, and vice versa. This is true even while they move together as a pair. Think about it.

T.S.Eliot did not invent palindromes.   Nor did Watson and Krick.  Palindromes were invented by the ancient Greeks. The Greek word palindromos litterally means"running back again." Sotades of Maronea came up with the concept in 275 BC and then reportedly proceeded to rewrite the Iliad in palindrome form.

Read backwards, his palindromes were sometimes obscene and defamatory.   He went too far once with his good humor and offended Pellius II who had him killed. Oops.

Byzantine Greeks often inscribed the palindrome

on baptismal fonts.  In mixed case with modern accents and divided into words it reads:

or, in the Latin alphabet, "Nipson anomïmata mï monan opsin", meaning, "Don't just wash your face, wash your sins".



Go hang a salami.  Im a lasagna hog.