Palinode: From the Greek for “singing again,” a work written to retract a previous written statement. Generally, both the original “offensive” or “incorrect” writing and the retraction are written in verse. Stesichorus, a Sicilian Greek lyric poet of the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., is generally credited with writing the first palinode, a recantation of a prior poem blaming Helen for the Trojan War. During the classical, Medieval, and Renaissance periods, writing palinodes was fairly common.

FURTHER EXAMPLES: Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Legend of Good Women (c. 1385), written to recant — or at least balance out — his negative presentation of women as unfaithful in Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1383) and other works; Gelett Burgess’s “Confession: and a Portrait, Too, Upon a Background That I Rue,” a rejection of his “Purple Cow: Reflections on a Mythic Beast, Who’s Quite Remarkable, at Least” (1895); Ogden Nash’s 1964 recantation of his 1931 couplet “The Bronx? / No, thonx,” ending “Now I’m an older, wiser man / I cry, ’The Bronx? God / bless them!’”