yrteoP esreveR

I attribute the following quote to Christine Hamm, English lecturer at Rutgers University and author of The Transparent Dinner.

“The reverse poem exercise consists of taking a poem, breaking it down line by line and trying to write the opposite of each image and word. After you’re done you can play with it anyway you want.”

Suffice to say I’ve had far too much fun doing this. Beneath the cut is one example I’ve been working on.

Below is an example I’ve been working on:

I have killed him!
by Charles van Lerberghe
Dr. Frankenstein
by Tim Hamilton
I have killed him!
I have killed him!
He is falling.
Listen. In the evening a voice has cried
over the dark sea: You have killed him!How have I created him, my god, with these white hands
which would not have wounded a dove
or killed a flower?

Ah! Nothing knew that he was alive,
and everything is ignorant of his being no more,
and the dawn still rises.
Nothing weeps for him.
Not a smile of the earth has disappeared;
not a flower, now a sunbeam,
not a star of my song.

Without my thinking of it,
he has faded into silence.

I have created him!
I have created him!
Watch him as he rises.
This morning a voice will cry over the land:
What have you created?How did I create him, this promethean?
With my calloused hands which were made to rend and tear.

Now you will all know!
By dusk you will all know!
Light the torches! There shall be celebration!
This night there will be joy, tears will be forbidden.

By the sweat of my brow
he has been born
and he is screaming.

Published by

Tim Hamilton

See https://tshamilton.com/about/

3 thoughts on “yrteoP esreveR”

  1. Hey,

    Good example. You seems to really get it! It’s fun to play around with, isn’t it?

  2. Much fun. For some reason though I always seem to find myself inspired to try this when I’m reading French poetry. I think it’s the feeling that the translation doesn’t quite match anyway 🙂

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