A fun poetry form: the Reverso

On this Poetry Friday, I made my first attempt at writing a reverso. 

Poet Marilyn Singer developed this form. She has written three books of reverso poems! This is her definition of the form:

“A reverso is a poem with two halves. In a reverso, the second half reverses the lines from the first half, with changes only in punctuation and capitalization — and it has to say something completely different from the first half.”

Books of reverso poems by Marilyn Singer

Marilyn was the guest presenter in the Tuesday evening poetry class I take, led by poet extraordinaire Georgia Heard. A few days ago, Marilyn shared some reverso poems with us, and others, too. Her dramatic reading skills are inspiring! 

I tried my hand at it this morning. I’d love to add a reverso to the firehouse-themed poetry collection I’m working on.  I even got out the scissors, clipping and snipping lines and moving them around. It’s still very much a work in progress, but I hope to have a draft of a poem ready for next week’s class with Georgia!


Hop on over to Linda at TeacherDance for more Poetry Friday posts!


  1. Linda Mitchell says:

    Hooray for the reverso!
    Reverso for the hooray!

    I adore writing reverso poems…well, I adore attempting to write them. It’s super fun and I liken it to word sudoku. I never thought to get the scissors out. I usually line the poems up next to each other first before separating into mirror images. Have fun!

  2. maryleehahn says:

    Reversos are so HARD, but when one flows…such a feeling of accomplishment! I love the idea of cutting out lines to physically move them around! Borrowing.

  3. lindabaie says:

    I’ve written a few and they are not easy, that’s for sure. I looked at your picture, the cutout lines & they read wonderfully top to bottom & bottom to top – a reverso! The theme of firehouse will be welcome to many children I’m sure!

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