Palinode: Definition, Meaning and Examples of Palinode


Palinode (Gk meaning ‘singing over again’) is a poem in which a poet retracts or counter-balances a statement made in his earlier poem.


  • The first palinode was a lyric by the Greek poet Stesichorus (c. 640-655 BC) in which he withdrew his attack on Helen as the cause of the Trojan war.
  • Ovid is supposed to have written his Remedia Amoris in order to retract his Ars Amatoria.
  • A well-known instance of a palinode in English literature is Geoffrey Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women (c. 1372–86), written to atone for the story of the false Criseyde in his poem Troilus and Criseyde.

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