Definition of palinode
1 : an ode or song recanting or retracting something in an earlier poem
2 : a formal retraction
palinode was our Word of the Day on 12/21/2014. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Does singing someone's praises in a palinode pay off? It did in the case of Stesichorus, a Greek poet of the 6th century B.C. According to Plato, old Stesichorus was struck blind after writing a poem insulting Helen of Troy, but his sight was restored after he wrote an apologetic palinode. That poet was only too glad to apply the Greek word palinōidia (a compound of palin, meaning "back" or "again," and aeidein, meaning "to sing"). So were 16th-century English poets, who borrowed and modified the Greek term to refer to odes of their own.
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