Scarlet O'Hara in a still from Gone with the Wind‘Forked: A Palindrome Poem’ and Other Poetry by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society July 25, 2022 Humor, Poetry, Readings 39 Comments . https://classicalpoets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Forked-2.mp3 . Forked a palindrome poem I’m a toxic-tongued witch with some bitching to weave. No trite tittle-tattle will make me believe My lips drip with syrup and never with sin— That’s ludicrous gossip—nonsensical din. My tongue bursts with bile and has barbs at its tip— Its scornful, it’s sharp, and it cuts with each quip. Those mired in its mantra would never assert My tongue isn’t cunning, acerbic, and curt. My tongue isn’t cunning, acerbic, and curt. Those mired in its mantra would never assert Its scornful, it’s sharp, and it cuts with each quip. My tongue’s dipped in bile and has barbs at its tip? That’s ludicrous gossip—nonsensical din! My lips drip with syrup and never with sin. No trite tittle-tattle will make me believe I’m a toxic-tongued witch with some bitching to weave. . . Sorceress She is polished and pernicious, Her demeanor is delicious. She will soften the suspicious __With her smile. She’ll abash you then disarm you, She’ll harass and she’ll alarm you, Then she’ll nonchalantly charm you __That’s her style. She’ll reject and then she’ll choose you, She’ll respect and then she’ll use you, She’ll protect and then she’ll bruise you, __In a flash. She’ll dismiss you then possess you, She will curse you then she’ll bless you, She’ll distress and then impress you __With panache. She’ll accuse and then assuage you, She’ll abuse and she’ll upstage you, She’ll amuse and she’ll enrage you __Every day. She’ll assist you then she’ll spurn you, She’ll enlist you then she’ll burn you, She will twist and she will turn you __Every way. She will praise and then berate you, She will raise and then deflate you, She’ll amaze and still frustrate you; __You can’t win. She’s capricious and malicious, She is smoothly surreptitious, She conceals a core that’s vicious __With a grin. First published in Snakeskin . Don’t Feed the Trolls! Goad goad goad goes the toad in the ether. Mock mock mock howls the internet lout. Jibe jibe jibe chides the beastly bequeather _Of irk __That a jerk ___Likes to shout. Snipe snipe snipe pipes the sly cyber griper. Moan moan moan groans the grim gobby ghoul. Hiss hiss hiss huffs the gruff pissy viper— _The snake __Who makes saints ___Lose their cool. Pick pick pick is the mode of those bozos. Sock sock sock every fun-sucking sap. Prick prick prick all those gaseous egos— _The trick— __Starve each schmuck. ___Snub their crap! . . Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 39 Responses James Ph. Kotsybar July 25, 2022 Based upon your theme here, you might be interested in this competition: https://ambitmagazine.co.uk/submit/ Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Thank you very much for this, James. I’ll give it a go! Reply Roy E. Peterson July 25, 2022 Susan, I believe you employ the “expansive I,” as I call it, and you simply are employing the first person in your adept deft poem. I refuse to believe you embody a witch. “Sorceress” was a fun read and reminded me of the song, “She’s Got Bette Davis eyes.” I believe I picked up the target of “Don’t Feed the Trolls.” You have always been great at alliteration and this one is superb! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Roy, I love your astute comment… it has me smiling. “She’s Got Bette Davis eyes” is one helluva song and I’m thrilled ‘Sorceress’ reminded you of one of my 80s faves. As for those trolls… inspiration comes in many guises on this wonderful site, and for that I’m most grateful. 🙂 Reply Russel Winick July 25, 2022 Great stuff as usual Susan! I especially liked Sorceress (“She will curse you then she’ll bless you”). Now, who could that be about? Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Russel, thank you very much… who could that Sorceress be, indeed?! 😉 Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 25, 2022 “Forked” is one helluva brilliant piece. Poetic palindromes are very hard to pull off, and are usually done at a much simpler level than Susan’s poem here. She’s writing tetrameters with a strong dactylic pull, in smack-dab solid rhyming couplets. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Thank you very much, Joe. I am smiling. I loved composing that palindrome… it was a challenge, and I adore a challenge, especially a poetic one! Reply Jack “Michael” Dashiell July 25, 2022 Once again, Susan, you amaze me. These 3 poems show your industry with words. I love your use of unique stanzas and of course witty humor. It surely shows formal poems aren’t necessarily old- fashioned. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Thank you very much, Michael! You’re spot on when you say “formal poems aren’t necessarily old- fashioned” – I love formal, I don’t love archaic. Taking the beauty of form and breathing new life into it is my favorite pastime. I’m glad you appreciate it. Reply Michael Pietrack July 25, 2022 Don’t Feed the Trolls wins for me! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Me too! 🙂 Reply Joshua C. Frank July 26, 2022 Me too! They’re all really good, but that one wins by far! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 26, 2022 The inspiration for this poem came from an astute commenter who blessed me with some invaluable advice wrapped up in a contagious smile of poetic wit. Having read it I simply had to write… and I will draw upon the advice when needed – I’ll try very hard not to feed those pesky trolls! Thank you, Josh for your inspiration and your wisdom! 😉 Joshua C. Frank August 1, 2022 Susan, that’s wonderful to hear, that a bit of verse I wrote inspired you to write a full poem! You’re so welcome… but it’s nothing compared to the wonderful examples your work has been for me. Cheryl Corey July 25, 2022 “Trolls” is so unusual and immediately captured my attention. I love the way you have not only end, but internal rhymes as well. It’s a fun piece. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2022 Thank you, Cheryl! I like to flirt with fun… and I had the flirtiest, funnest time with this one. Reply Yael July 25, 2022 Wow! These are all great, and especially the Palindrome is amazing. Palindrome is a pretty cool and exotic sounding word in its own right, I like it, and I really enjoyed your reading of it. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 26, 2022 Thank you very much, Yael. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the palindrome, which I had huge fun writing. I made a recording to capture the differences in mood and meaning in the first and second stanza… the welcome embrace of being a ‘toxic tongued witch’ and the shame and denial. The very first poem I read of Mike’s was a palindrome called ‘Galaxy’… I think it led me here to Texas. Reply Yael July 26, 2022 That’s awesome! Rohini July 25, 2022 These are all brilliant! Thank you for that glittering interlude. I loved the palindrome. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 26, 2022 Thank you, Rohini – I love the delicious term, “glittering interlude”… I’m going to store it in my magic jar of words to gaze at when days need a bit of glitter. Reply James Sale July 26, 2022 Fabulous work, Susan – marvellous verbal dexterity, each one, and I am not even sure which is my favourite! They are all so good. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 26, 2022 Yay!! Thank you, James! High praise, indeed, and I’m basking in it like a diva! Reply Norma Pain July 26, 2022 I just love your poetry Susan. I especially liked “Forked” and your reading of it made the message perfectly clear. I loved the movie “Gone with the Wind” and have watched it a number of times. “Sorceress” is a spot-on description of Scarlett. All three poems are splendid. Thank you for brightening my morning. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 29, 2022 Norma, thank you very much. I’m thrilled you enjoyed them all. When I saw Evan’s chosen picture, I thought it was spot-on for ‘Sorceress’. I read ‘Gone with the Wind’ when I was around ten and loved every chapter of Margaret Mitchell’s one and only book… perhaps Scarlet sprang from the twisted labyrinths of my mind when I wrote this poem. 😉 Reply Mary Virginia Vietor July 27, 2022 What flair! (and what fun, too!) Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 29, 2022 Thank you very much, Mary. I’ll wear my ‘flair and fun’ badge with pride today. I’m over the moon you enjoyed the poems. Reply Shaun C. Duncan July 27, 2022 These are fantastic, Susan. “Forked” is particularly good and your reading of the piece really added to my appreciation of it. The lines are packed with your usual poetic brilliance but the structure is even more impressive. I also loved “Don’t Feed The Trolls!” It has a real toungue-twisting quality that makes it a lot of fun to read out loud. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 29, 2022 Shaun, thank you most kindly. I appreciate your fine eye. I think ‘Forked’ is so fun to read. I read it aloud at a Zoom poetry session in the U.K. yesterday and it went down well. Someone suggested I swap the stanzas around… I’m thinking on it. The fact that I can do that is the beauty of the palindrome. I have a special affection for my ‘Trolls’ poem… it was one of those poems that came in a flash and took very little time to write, and is such fun to read aloud. Reply Jeff Eardley July 27, 2022 Susan, is there ANYTHING you can’t do with words? These are so good that I am frothing whilst reading. The Palindrome is a new form for me and yours is so clever. I agree with the “Betty Davis eyes” comparison to “Sorceress” and “Trolls” is great to read out loud at the dentist as the novacaine kicks in. Thanks for a great read, as usual. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 29, 2022 Jeff, your reaction to my quirky trio has made my day. It’s great when words ignite, excite, and bring a smile. There’s plenty I can’t do with words… at the moment. I have such fun trying, I’ll conquer those wayward words soon… watch this space. Thank you very much! Reply Mike Bryant July 27, 2022 Susan, I love these three and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and seeing as you worked on them. We did meet over palindromes… I might be your palindrome. 🙂 A palindrome can be read the same backwards and forward. The middle element of a palindrome can stand on its own or be repeated, 123454321 – the ‘5’ is alone, Or 1234554321- the ‘5’ now repeated but still a palindrome, like “Forked” Numbers or even groups of numbers can be palindromed by repeating them in reverse order so they read the same either way. 123454321 Or 12 34 56 34 12 In the same way palindromes can be formed with letters, words or lines. racecar = letters Or jump grab toss grab jump = words Or Your poem “Forked” is a rhymed Line Palindrome Poem. There are also Word Palindrome Poems and even Letter Palindrome Poems. The Word and Letter Palindrome Poems almost never rhyme, and almost never make any sense. A case in point… A Letter Palindrome Poem: https://www.reddit.com/r/woahdude/comments/1tks02/demetri_martins_224_word_palindrome_poem/ And… one of my favorite letter palindrome phrases: Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era? Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 29, 2022 Mike, you are my poetic palindrome. Thank you for this informative and inspirational comment. I feel a word palindrome coming on… the letter palindrome might have to wait. Someone once told me, life was too short to stuff a mushroom. I feel the same about letter palindromes… although, I am partial to a stuffed mushroom. 😉 Reply Brian Yapko July 28, 2022 Susan, these are three amazing poems both for form and content! The palindrome works beautifully with its cunning split-personality message. (“Who, me?”) The Sorceress is a bit confounding to me in subject matter but nonetheless a joy to read. I imagine we all get to play multiple roles in our lives and this one really brings home the paradoxes of being fallibly human. This poem seems particularly musical and I wonder if you intended this as a song lyric? A similar question for “Don’t Feed the Trolls” which also seems like it should be set to music. The subject matter is brilliant but, alas, advice that is most difficult to comply with. A splendid set all three, Susan. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 29, 2022 Brian, thank you for your grin-inducing comment on ‘Forked’ and its “…cunning split-personality message. (“Who, me?”)” – what a great description for my cheeky poem! I love it! ‘Sorceress’ is my purring lioness… a pussycat on the outside… don’t get too close. I didn’t think of song lyrics when I wrote ‘Sorceress’ and ‘Trolls’, but I like nonce forms that sing… and sometimes they just come to me. As a child, one of my favorites was by the late, great, outrageously eccentric, Spike Milligan: On the Ning Nang Nong Where the Cows go Bong! and the monkeys all say BOO! There’s a Nong Nang Ning Where the trees go Ping! And the tea pots jibber jabber joo. On the Nong Ning Nang All the mice go Clang And you just can’t catch ’em when they do! So its Ning Nang Nong Cows go Bong! Nong Nang Ning Trees go ping Nong Ning Nang The mice go Clang What a noisy place to belong is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong! How can you not smile after reading that one?! With much appreciation for your fine eye. Reply David Watt July 31, 2022 Susan, I just love your obvious enjoyment at playing with words, and entertaining us in the process. For me, your poems highlight skillful form, feminine wiles, and sage advice. Thanks for all three! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 1, 2022 David, thank you for this beautiful comment. I am thrilled my enjoyment is obvious… I think joy is contagious and I am happy if my words bring a smile. I also love your summary – “skillful form, feminine wiles, and sage advice”… I’m reveling in your words and grinning from ear to ear. What more could a poet ask! Reply Amrita Valan August 23, 2022 Forked is so brilliant, and though I loved all 3 Don’t feed the Trolls was a favourite. I smiled because it is so apt, with such clever sound effects. Reply Leave a Reply to Susan Jarvis Bryant Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.