Poetry Friday is hosted today by Carol Wilcox @ Carol’s Corner
Writing poetry does not come easily to me no matter how hard I try to wrestle carefully chosen words, weighted with meaning, into well proportioned lines and stanzas. So, poets and the poetry they create remain on an never to be attained pedestal for me. Then, there are those poets who are able to take this craft and create a new invention of the form, which leaves me all the more envious and dumbfounded: such is the invention of reverso poems by Marilyn Singer. This is how she describes what reverso poems are:
A reverso consists of two poems. You read the first poem from top to bottom. Then, you read the poem again with the lines reversed, with changes only on punctuation and capitalization, and that second poem says something completely different.
Echo & Echo, is Singer’s third collection of reverso poems, here are the previous two, which I now need to order as soon as possible:
Seeing two sides to every story is habit we as a country would do well to cultivate, especially, it seems, these days. In my classroom, we encourage each other to share and explore perspectives, it is one way to become more empathetic to each other, to discover deeper meanings in what we say and what we do. This is the power of Singer’s poems, too. Read one way we see one experience, reversed, we see the same words shape shift into another, equally important meaning.
Here’s my favorite one, the story of Icarus and Daedalus:
and here is the same poem as it appears in the book, gorgeously illustrated by Josee Masse:
I can’t wait to share this collection with my students – and to try this form of poetry, however poor the efforts, in my own poetry notebook.