Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Opposites

In the last few weeks I've spent some time reading the book MORE OPPOSITES (1991) by Richard Wilbur. Here's a bit of info from the jacket flap of the latter.
"Richard Wilbur, his wife, and their four children used to play a rather unusual game around the dinner table. One member of the family would suggest a word, and then everyone would join in a lively quarrel about its proper opposite." 
Wilbur's first book based on this game, OPPOSITES, was published in 1973. The poems in both volumes are a bit nutty, thoroughly entertaining, and downright clever. Here's one from MORE OPPOSITES.

The opposite of kite, I'd say,
Is yo-yo. On a breezy day
You take your kite and let it rise
Upon its string into the skies,
And then you pull it down with ease
(Unless it crashes in the trees).
yo-yo, though, drops down, and then
You quickly bring it up again
By pulling deftly on the string
(If you can work the blasted thing).

You might want to check out this video of Wilbur reading a number of opposite poems.

So, your challenge for the week is to write an opposites poem. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Mirror

    The opposite of mirror is the world.
    (Some say it’s window, but not me.
    I’m not fooled that easily.)
    The mirror is a piece of glass
    that shows what is willing to pass
    and what’s still. It’s all there,
    painted on glass like it’s real.
    Only backwards. The mirror’s one trick.
    Shimmery con, silver slick.
    Turn around and you’ll see the whole world,
    the real one the mirror’s unfurled.
    Turn around to see all kinds of things—
    turnips, doors, rivers, and rings.
    (But if you want to look at your face,
    only backwards, the mirror’s the place.)

    —Kate Coombs, 2016
    all rights reserved

    1. ...beautifully articulated, Kate.j

    2. ...beautifully articulated, Kate.j

    3. Thanks, Judith! Love vs. idolatry, interesting juxtaposition. :)

    4. The difference between what we project on others (idolatry-made by our hands) and who they really are. j

    5. Somwhat similar to vision of self in mirror v looking at reality. Similar as in cousin to. ;)

  2. Idolatry

    Love is a lesson that
    cannot be taught. It
    begins when he's caught
    his tail in the door and is
    covered in muck up to his
    nose and stinks like a
    skunk and you know that
    a bath will not help. Not
    one bit. It's your choice.

    ©2016 Judith Robinson all rights reserved.