In 2009 I was organising a family poetry exhibition for Bristol Poetry Festival. I wanted some short poems to hang from mobiles to decorate the exhibition room. Rachel Rooney sent me the first poem - and it could be read both ways - forwards and backwards. I thought what fantastic fun it would be if all the mobiles could be read both ways, from the top, and from the bottom, and asked the poets who were helping to write some for me. This Rachel’s poem:
wordsI printed the words out on a series of clouds, a white one at the top, and getting gradually greyer as they went down, until the bottom one was black with lightning running through it. The mobiles were a great success and everyone enjoyed them. But not all the poets could write them, it’s surprisingly hard to make it make sense both ways! Sometimes they said the same thing in a different way, sometimes they said something slightly different. Here is one of mine:
buddleiasEach word was written on a buddleia flower, which had butterflies perched upon it. Here is another:
ow!The words were hung in a swarm of bees. If you would like to try writing a reversible poem, it helps if you use the words ‘like’ ‘as’ ‘for’ ‘by’ in the middle and lots of naming and describing words either side. A very simple but beautiful one by Jane Clarke:
rainHave a go!! If you want to make a mobile, I printed the words on card, laminated them, cut them out, and made a hole in the middle of the bottom of the top word, the top and bottom of the middle words, and the top of the last word. Then I bought some fishing swivels - each word had a tiny metal trigger hook through its holes attached to a swivel and then attached to the next word with another trigger hook. The swivel helps the letters to turn.
Send us your reversible poems! We’ll put them up.