Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - Looking Forward, Looking Back

Another year is ending and a new one beginning. It seems the perfect time to try our hand at writing a reverso.

The form, invented by Marilyn Singer, is described by the poet in this way.
A reverso is two poems in one. Read the first down and it says one thing. Read it back up, with changes just in punctuation and capitalization, and it's a different poem. 
Here's an example Singer provides in her note about the form.

A cat
a chair:
a chair
a cat.

The coolest thing about these is that whether you are reading them forwards or backwards, they work! You can learn more about the reverso and the book that started it all by checking out this post at Seven Imp and this post at Writing and Ruminating.

So, what do you think? It seems an impossible task, but perhaps we could try writing some short poems similar to Marilyn's example. That, my friends, is the challenge. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Wow, tough one! But I tried…


    A winter hermit
    mutters down the mountain—
    wind, cold and dark.

    Wind, cold and dark,
    mutters down the mountain,
    a winter hermit.

    —Kate Coombs 2014
    all rights reserved

  2. Mountain of Dreams

    will always be
    that mountain --
    Awake! a frozen jewel!
    A prize!
    Beside the fire,
    when I am warm,
    I love to dream
    I may climb
    that mountain of ice

    that mountain of ice
    I may climb.
    I love to dream
    when I am warm
    beside the fire
    a prize--
    a frozen jewel.
    That mountain
    will always be

  3. My Reverso is here:
    I wish I knew how to hyperlink here. Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste into your browser.

  4. That was fun and rigorous. I believe this is my second reverso. Wouldn't it be nice if there were an anthology of reversos?

    Waiting for the pain to stop,
    Hands clasped, head down, knees bent
    I’m pleading for mercy
    As morning sun filters through the stained glass.

    As morning sun filters through the stained glass
    I’m pleading for mercy.
    Hands clasped, head bowed, knees bent,
    Waiting for the pain to stop.

    (c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.