November 10, 2022

NOV 10, a brief saga: Leigh Mercer's palindrome workshop

Authors' Note: 
Ipanema: (pronounced ee-pah-NAY-muh in Portuguese): trendy neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, known for its marvellous beach and for its bossa nova music
Leigh Mercer (1893–1977) was credited with the iconic palindrome, A man, a plan, a canal — Panama. Mercer, an isolated British eccentric who worked at low-level jobs with frequent turnover, occasionally communicated with journals and contest organizers about wordplay and mathematical puzzles. After his death, notebooks filled with unique palindromes were discovered.
This early workshop conducted by Mercer, during which the iconic canal palindrome is almost invented, is fictitious, but with the exception of the first, all the italicized phrases in the 'workshop' session are legitimate palindromes.

 For the purpose of this blog, a 'brief saga' is defined as a poem, usually narrative, but occasionally expository, that tell its story in at least 15 lines. Most commonly, the format involves three stanzas in limerick form, constituting a single submission to the online humor site 'Omnificent English Dictionary iLimerick Form'. On the OEDILF site, rigorous standards for content and format are involved in a collaborative editing process that may take several weeks to over a year. 

 Generally, OEDILF has not been enormously welcoming of multi-verse submissions, but Giorgio Coniglio has persisted, and there are now over 90 of these multi-verse poems feature in his "Author's Showcase". The  OEDILF number for each accepted multiverse poem is shown here on the slide with its first verse. We have been blog-publishing these poetic adventures here monthly.

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