As we continue our bimonthly theme, Crazy Over Cybils, here at Gathering Books, I would like to share with you a poem from the award-winning poetry collection, Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. Writtten by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse, Mirror Mirror won the poetry division in the 2010 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards.
The poems in this collection are called reversos because they’re written as two different versions of the same story. In the case of Mirror Mirror, the stories are fairy tales. It was the determination of the poetry judges that the form – the style, the poems themselves – inspire creativity, as evidenced by the number of readers inspired to create their own (inevitably discovering that a true reverso is difficult to achieve indeed).That one can tell a single story from two different points of view by reversing a poem is quite impressive. Every word in a reverso has to be chosen properly; the placement of the words affects the meaning of the poem, since placement dictates how it is read upwards as well as down. As one of our judges noted, “For some poems, the reverso form actually gave me aha! moments, causing me to look at a familiar story in a fresh way.” – From the Cybils website