Monday, December 19, 2011

A Poem That Speaks Forwards and Backwards!

         Happy Holidays Everyone – Thanks to the Stenhouse blog for the reverse poem idea.  This is a lesson from Kelly Gallagher’s new book Write Like This, which includes the poem The Lost Generation, found here.  I loved taking this challenging exercise and applying it to my own life right now.  It would be great to do with older students.

My holiday could possibly be not everything I want
So I try not to believe that
All I wish is some time for myself and those I love
It may be surprising to others that
I think education today is too challenging for teachers
I won’t accept that
I can do everything for students
And I might tell others that
It is not worth it
Some educators believe
Hard work pays dividends  
I see things differently because
It is not easy to say that
The hours spent correcting papers and creating curriculum are always wise
I am against the belief that
So much personal investment of time is profitable, and
I am convinced that
In the new year
There will be an increase in students behind in their work
I am not certain that
We will benefit from the weeks of rest and recuperation because
Our renewal as teachers stems only in part from sleeping in and eating well, and
It is true that
We do not love our work and definitely
It is a false belief that
We will have a happy holiday because

       All of this will stay a reality unless we choose to reverse it.

           Read the poem down, then up, thus a reverse poem!


  1. I love that!! Thank you for sharing oh to be so creative...Hope you have the best of holiday and break.

  2. This was interesting to read both ways! And I love the beautiful snowflake photo and the snowflake boarder too. The girls and I are going to try out writing at the lighthouse today. I think we will set a reverse poem as the challenge to get us started. Thanks for the idea!

  3. WOW! Very insightful and thought-provoking! I imagine it must have taken you a long time to get it to work in both directions! I've never heard of that kind of poem before -- a neat challenge! As I read "up",I felt like I could relate to both, depending on my mood! I like the "backwards/up" way the best, I think! I'm glad you designed it that way so the more hopeful reading is the 2nd one!

  4. Great poem, Linda. I ordered the book today. Can hardly wait to read it! I have had student in the past write one of these, but have never tried it myself.

  5. First reverso poem I read was Marilyn Singer's Mirror Mirror - and have been fascinated by it since.

    I love your imagery and the thought behind the poem - such a passionate educator you are and a talented writer to boot! No reversal in that statement AT ALL. :)


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