String modifiers... with math

Alrighty. I'm attempting to do something that in theory should be simple but actually has become pretty complicated.

I have a string, and it's a long string. (~900 characters). In the CP my client can modify this, and put whatever they want there, so the string isn't a fixed length.

I want to split the string in half (without cutting words), and display both halves in separate columns within the template.

My research so far has been unfruitful, but I imagine it'll use some combination of length, divide, and safe_truncate.

Something like:
{{ article text | safe_truncate:length divide="2" }}
And then something similar for the second half...

So far, I've been unable to get the math modifiers working on the string (probably because, you know, it's a string...).

Any help or suggestions?

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