A self-contradictory phrase or sentence, such as "the ascending rain" or Alexander Pope's description of man, "Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all." Don Marquis's "quote buns by great men quote" (archys life of mehitabel [London: Faber and Faber, 1934]: 103-04), describes a drunk trying to go up a down-escalator as "falling upwards / through the night" (the poem also parodies Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "St. Augustine").