In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

The title of this post is one of my favourite palindromes, certainly my favourite in Latin and known as The Devil’s Verse.

It means “we wander in the night, and are consumed by fire” or “we enter the circle after dark and are consumed by fire”,  both said to describe the movement of moths or the ‘mayfly’ which circles the candle only to be consumed by the flame.

Or in Greek if you prefer; ΝΙΨΟΝ ΑΝΟΜEΜΑΤΑ ΜE ΜΟΝΑΝ ΟΨΙΝ is a Christian palindromic inscription found on baptismal fonts that conveniently translates as “wash the sin as well as the face”.

There are plenty of long palindromic sentences in English, but most are contrived and sometimes the shorter ones are the more elegant, such as “A man, a plan, a canal: Panama“.

But for the public sector in these restructured times, perhaps the most apt is: “Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

All of which is merely a scene setter for another Dan and Dan film: The Palindromic Sketch.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

1 comment… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 3rd December 2010

    There’s nothing I like better than sitting by a toasty fire on a winter’s evening and reading my collection of palindromes…. “Son I am able she said, though you scare me. Watch, said I, beloved, I said, watch me scare you though. Said she, able am I, Son.”


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