2016 in [Book] Review Books Picture Books Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Paying Tribute to Greek Myths through Reverso Poems in “Echo Echo”

Of gods and mortals.

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am glad to be joining the Poetry Friday community hosted this week by Violet from Violet Nesdoly.


As part of our current reading theme that looks back on the best of the best in books in the year that was, I searched for poetry titles published in 2016 and found quite a few. Here is one that’s been receiving a lot of rave reviews – all justified, I thought.


Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths

Written by: Marilyn Singer Illustrated by: Josée Masse
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016
ISBN: 0803739923 (ISBN13: 9780803739925)Borrowed a copy from the Jurong West Public Library. Book Photos taken by me. 

I have always been fascinated with Greek myths. My earliest remembrances of cautionary tales as a child would include Pandora’s Box, King Midas and the Golden Touch (that was the title of the story I read then), Icarus and Narcissus – just to cite a few. It made me marvel at a world filled with whimsical gods and goddesses who can punish or reward mortals as they see fit.


Reading Marilyn Singer’s newest reverso poetry book reminded me of my forgotten childhood when I was lost in books, avidly reading these stories that I could not get enough of. The fascinating thing about this picturebook is that Singer managed to capture the very essence of truly remarkable and timeless tales and distill them in such challenging verse, a poetic form that she invented herself. She also included a brief summary of the story behind the poem as a footnote to provide context to readers unfamiliar with some of the Greek myths.


I am also especially taken by Masse’s art. I’ve always loved her portrayal of Singer’s poetry in Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow – but this one is made more special for me somehow because I’ve always held Greek myths in such awe, and I felt that she has outdone herself this time around.

For my Poetry Friday offering, I would like to share one of the poems in this collection that I felt conveyed the beauty of life’s myriad destinies played with and controlled by gods in our midst.


May you make sense of life’s immortal truths, tellers and listeners alike, one and all.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

8 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Paying Tribute to Greek Myths through Reverso Poems in “Echo Echo”

  1. I remember being fascinated by the ancient myths when I was growing up, too. So much wonder to be found in those stories and legends. Imagine inventing your own poetry form! So much inspiration, right there.


  2. I loved Greek myths (and Norse and Egyptian and any more I could find), and I still do. I am amazed at the poetic form she created. I can’t imagine trying to craft such poems, especially while conveying the essence of each myth. Wow!


  3. I read this to my kids. Love it!


  4. Marilyn’s books are wonderfully creative, and for those who love the myths, this is especially interesting I do love books that show unique points of view. In my teaching, they helped mentor the writers so much. Thanks for another look at this, Myra.


  5. This looks like a beautiful book. And oh man, Marilyn Singer makes the Reverso look easy!


  6. Marvelous! I read Marilyn’s 1st reverso book to a girl I was helping learn to read and it was so fascinating for her. Aren’t words miraculous, especially when Marilyn is combining them?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. maryleehahn

    This is her best of all the reverso books (IMHO).


  8. I love poems like this! I need to find this book! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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