Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poetry Stretch: My Own Reverso

The Miss Rumphius Effect put out the challenge to write a Reverso this week. This is a Marilyn Singer special. She wrote this lovely book of reverso poems called Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. They are poems that when you read them down, they say one thing. When you reverse the words, changing punctuation, they can mean something else. All of the poems in Singer's book are based on common fairy tales. It's like getting two sides to each story. She is a master at this technique. She has carefully crafted each poem so that even though they have the same words, the pair of poems means the opposite. I have to take my copy back to the library, but I have to have a copy of this book for my own because this whole form fascinates me.

This week's Monday Poetry Stretch from The Miss Rumphius Effect was to try your hand at it. It was just serendipitous because I had this on my list of things to try this week. I read Mirror, Mirror last weekend and knew I had to try it. Reverso is hard, but very, very fun. I tried several and I am having trouble getting the right effect, but I am going to keep at it.

Here's my attempt:

Poem #1

washes away remnants of
clogging my throat.
I cough
rather than singing
flittering about
in the flowers.

Poem #2

In the flowers,
flittering about
rather than singing
I cough.
Clogging my throat?
washes away remnants of

by Marcie Flinchum Atkins
April 8, 2010