Hello. Frank Hubeny here. The topic today is reverse poetry. I just heard about it a week ago, but I figure it is time to try something new or at least become familiar with something new.

A reverse poem is one that presents a message, story or a viewpoint for a few lines and then stops and rewinds all of it playing the message back, line by line, but in reverse order to present a very different story or viewpoint perhaps even the opposite of the first view. It can be quite powerful especially if the first direction is depressing and the reverse of that is uplifting.

Here is an example. It was the first thing I clicked on when searching for “reverse poetry” on YouTube. (Posted by flyty116.)

When I first heard this idea I thought it might be impossible to write something like that and then I thought perhaps it is not so hard. I would need a strong, perhaps controversial position, a transitional middle section and then a line by line reversal of that controversial position trying to resolve in some way that original view. It might take some tinkering with the phrases to get this to work, but the hardest part may be coming up with that initial viewpoint that I want to reverse.

Not all of the poem need be a reversal of some other part of the poem. Even the lines that are reversed need not be exactly the same. There is some flexibility here. The reader just needs to sense some kind of reversal.

Besides the reversed lines, you may need a transition line or section between the forward and reversed parts. There may also be a part at the beginning or end that is not part of the reversing lines of the poem. For example, here is a poem by Marina McCready, “the civilized man”, that Mary Grace Guevara brought to my attention: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/the-civilised-man/

Note the beginning section describes a man reading a newspaper. Then a page of the newspaper is presented. That is one direction of the poem. The middle section is a line about him turning the page. Then he reads what he read on the previous page, but in reverse order. The poem ends with him turning the page again leaving him with a final question.

Now it’s your turn. Write a reverse poem, post it on your blog, copy the link to your blog post and paste it in the Mister Linky below. Read what others have posted and leave a comment on their blogs—it is how we get to know each other better. Leave me a comment below if you like. Come back tomorrow and check out the new links. You may link more than one post if this becomes addictive. The Mister Linky will be open for two days.