Tag Archives: Poetry

Mirror, Mirror A Book of Reversible Verse

Mirror, Mirror A Book of Reversible Verse

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror Mirror is a book of poems about classic fairy tales. You read each poem and then you read each poem again backwards, reading each line in reverse order. It’s amazing and hard to believe, but both poems work. This seems unbelievably difficult to me. To make it even more complicated, when you read the poem in one direction, it is from one character’s point of view and when you read the poem backwards it is from a different character’s point of view. I have no idea how the author managed to do this. It’s word brilliant! THEN, to make the poems even more amazing, the illustrator, Josée Masse, made the pictures the same way!

The author and illustrator also teamed up for a second book of mirror poetry called Echo, Echo. The theme in this one is Greek myths.

To test just how hard writing a poem like this might be I gave it a try using Grover and Tyson from the Percy Jackson books. It’s lame, four lines, but hey, I’m a beginner!

Together til the end
Percy is my friend
And now
Brothers in arms

Echo, Echo

See, if you read it from top to bottom it’s about Grover. Percy is his friend at school before Percy knows he’s a demi-god, but then they become brothers in arms in the war against Kronos. If you read the lines in reverse it’s about Tyson. Tyson and Percy are Brothers in arms first fighting their way back into to camp half-blood. It’s only later that they become friends.

My poem kind of works. Trying it showed me that I was right – writing like this is incredibly difficult! You have to consider each line and how it will work for the two different points of view and mine doesn’t even rhyme or anything. Marilyn Singer’s poems have everything: the poems flow right, the rhyming is right and the poems make total sense read both ways. Really. How in the world did she do this? Amazing! These are two amazing books to celebrate April, National Poetry Month.

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