Friday, October 15, 2010


Raven Mandela 2 by Nathalie Parenteau

Sometimes I like a challenge. Today's experiment was a "reverso," inspired by Marilyn Singer's Mirror Mirror. Ms. Singer wrote a book of fairy tale-inspired poems that are meant to be read top to bottom, and bottom to top. (Read a very clever review of it here and you can see pages of it here.)

Reversos tell two different stories depending on which direction you begin, and my poem tells the same story both ways. So my daughter suggested calling it a "same-o."

Raven Revers-same-o

I grieved.
In my heart,
Night fell.
I feared
The ghostly spirits.
I ran
to my window,
laughed to see
only a raven.
Will I be happy?
cried the Raven.

Cried the Raven,
will I be happy.
Only a raven
laughed to see
to my window
I ran.
The ghostly spirits
I feared!
Night fell
in my heart.
I grieved

Back in April, The Miss Rumphius Effect had reversos as the Monday Poetry Stretch, and there were some impressive results! Want to try it?

Liz in Ink is hosting the Poetry Friday round-up today.


Author Amok said...

Wow, Tabatha. This is an awesome version of the Raven. Impressive! I love "Mirror, Mirror." What a clever book.

Mary Lee said...

Reversos are tricky! I've only been able to make mine same-o, too! Yours is great!

Ben said...


Anonymous said...

LOVE it, and inspired by one of my favorite books of the year!

david elzey said...

like a poetic palindrome. sort of. i like, i like! and the perfect month to be mulling over some poe.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Very clever! I really need to try one of these but I'll be honest and say the thought intimidates me. Yours came out great!

Tabatha said...

Thank you, everyone! I have guests and haven't had a chance to check out the round-up yet, but I am looking forward to it.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I have not tried this form either. I am intimidated by it too. You've done a wonderful job!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

of us,
this form
the parsing of
each thought

each thought,
"'the parsing of'
this form
of us."

mine all come out as absurdos. : )

Tabatha said...

Heidi, "absurdo" is a great name! I would like reading more of yours.

Toby Speed said...

Fun same-o, Tabatha. :)

Amy L V said...

This is hauntingly cool. If you put another one up, will you tell about your process? It seems this one is intimidating many of us, me included!

laurasalas said...

Awesome, Tabatha! Thanks for sharing it. I haven't tried this--I'm guessing absurdo is how mine would come out, too, Heidi:>)