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6th Grade English Poetry Lit Cafe: #4 Reverse Poetry

What is Reverse Poetry?

Reverse poetry is a poem that can be read forwards (top to bottom) and have one meaning, but can also be read backwards (bottom to top) and have a different or opposite meaning. The structure of reverse poems is usually the same. There are negative and positive statements mixed in with general statements such as, "I believe that" or "It is not true that".   The topic of a reverse poem is usually something that has two opposite viewpoints or sides to it.

Example of Reverse Poetry - Student Created

Example of Reverse Poetry

Reverse Poem - Friends read normal than from the bottom up:

Fairy Tale Reverse Poem

Another Example of Reverse Poetry

Cafe Station Directions

Directions For This Cafe Station


At this station you will learn about reverse poems.  Follow the directions below to understand how reverse poetry works, view some examples of reverse poetry and then create your own reverse poem.

1. Read the What is reverse poetry? box to the left.

2. Read the 2  Example of Reverse Poetry boxes containing the "Friends" reverse poem and the "Fairy Tale" reverse poem both forwards and backwards.  See how they  become 2 poems in one!

3. View the video  Lost Generation - Reverse Poem, to see a well-known reverse poem.

4. Click on some of the links in the Resources box and explore more examples of reverse poems to get a better idea how they are created.  Make sure to read the poems forward and backward.

5. (Optional) View the video, A Reverse Poem to see another example of a reverse poem.

 

 

ACTIVITY:

1. Now it's time for you to create your own reverse poem with your partner following these directions. 

2. Choose a topic that has a positive and negative side to it.  Use the template handout at your station to complete your reverse poem by identifying positive and negative statements about your topic. Where a line has the word (negative) next to it, write a negative statement about your topic.  Where a line has the word (positive), write a positive statement about your topic. 

3. Read your poem forwards and backwards to see the difference in meaning and tone.  It's two poems in one!

3. Then show your poem to others at your station.  Discuss how each of your reverse poems sound optimistic and positive when read in one direction, and pessimistic and negative when read in the opposite direction.

A Reverse Poem

Here's a video that demonstrates how a reverse poem works - reading it one way it sounds negative, but reading it in the opposite direction it sounds positive.

A Lost Generation - Reverse Poem

Here's a video that demonstrates how a reverse poem works - reading it one way it sounds negative, but reading it in the opposite direction it sounds positive.