Mirror, Mirror A Book of Reversible Verse

Mirror, Mirror A Book of Reversible Verse

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror Mirror is a book of poems. You read each poem, then you read each poem again backwards. You read each line but 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, each poem tells the story of a classic fairy tale…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 another character’s point of view. I have no idea how the author managed to do this. It’s word brilliant. Major word skills. Each poem is like a word puzzle in the same way soduku is a number puzzle. THEN, to make it even better, the illustrator made the pictures the same way.

I gave this 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

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.

It kinda works. Trying it shows you how hard this is. 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, the poems make total sense read both ways. Really. How in the world did she do this? Amazing.

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