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Moments Slip Away -> Updown Side February 10, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Poetry, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

The Prompt: 

Choose a poem that you’ve written and rewrite it in its reverse, making the last line the first, etc. Revise this version, creating a new poem.

The Original:

Treasured photos fill
time-worn antique ladder shelves
with no space to spare

Ghosts from the past, so
easily resurrected,
crumble back to dust

Life’s treasured moments:
bite-size morsels melting as
soon as they appear

How do we account
for the time we’ve spent chasing
restless empty dreams?

The Reverse ~ Revised:

Restless empty dreams?
Time lost forever to the chase
All to no account.

Ephemeral appearances
Melting in bite-size bits.

Life’s treasured moments
Crumbling back to dust.

Easily resurrected ghosts from the past
Dissipate again
No space to spare.

Time-worn antiques
Laddered and layered lives
Treasured photos shelved away

Moments slip
Forever lost in time.

Related posts: Poetry Prompt (Pseu1’s Blog) * It’s In The Mail


1. Carl D'Agostino - February 10, 2011

This too hard even for the bard!

!Bard the for even hard too this.

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

What would such an exercise have done to Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be”?

Or to Juliet’s “Hark, what light through yonder window breaks”?

I generally don’t follow the Poets and Writers prompts, but this one stuck me as an amusing word play to try. Then Pseu said she was going to do it, so I gave it a go. 🙂

Carl D'Agostino - February 10, 2011

Well I suppose I must admit it. It took me 10 minutes to get the backward order correct. I am ashamed because I should do better as people have said for decades that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. Going or coming would be the same, right?

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

When the going gets tough, the tough don’t know whether they are coming or going.

2. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 10, 2011

I rather like the new version. Has a nice flow to it as well!

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

Thanks, Paula.

The similarities and differences between the Original and the Revision surprised me.

I enjoyed the exercise ~ lots of fun.

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

BTW: When do you go in for surgery tomorrow? Will you stay overnight?

Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 10, 2011

I have to be at hospital by 10:30 a.m. Surgery scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Supposed to be day surgery, so I should go home later in the afternoon – depending on if everything goes well – which it will! I’m not fond of hospital stays! I sort of demanded that I be able to go home right after, and he said it was OK! 😀

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

It will! Just wish you didn’t feel the need to have surgery so often.

Here’s to smoother sailing ahead.

3. Maggie - February 10, 2011

I think I might try this. The result of yours was quite lovely.

nrhatch - February 10, 2011

I think one way that it is valuable is that you take a poem that is “done” and realize that it need not be set in stone.

We can keep playing around with the words.

4. kateshrewsday - February 11, 2011

I think you’re very clever. I’m just trying to get my head round what they want me to do! Lovely result, Nancy.

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

I just reversed the lines and played around with it for a few minutes. It surprised me how little the mood of the poem changed.

Maybe it’s a reminder that word order matters less than word choice. 🙂

5. flyinggma - February 11, 2011

Your reverse poem turned out nicely. I don’t know if I can make my old brain think that hard this morning. Maybe after a few more cups of coffee…I have a couple of poems to try when I don’t feel quite so foggy.

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

I’m just sending an e-mail to you with some ideas for your pending visit! 🙂

I’ll try to get it off while you’re still enjoying your coffee.

6. eof737 - February 11, 2011

You did a fantastic job in reverse! I love the following lines… “Time lost forever to the chase
All to no account.” so contemporary! 🙂

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

Thanks, Eliz. I may give it another go sometime with a rhyming verse. Might be more challenging to keep the rhyme and the emotion.

7. Cindy - February 11, 2011

It actually works for me 🙂
Will try to find time over the weekend to do the prompt.

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

Cool! I enjoyed it.
BTW: It’s Amy’s Birthday today. She’s 21 plus.

8. viewfromtheside - February 11, 2011

ooh i do like your in verse reverse

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

Thanks, Sidey!

Definitely one of the more interesting poetry prompts I’ve received from Writers and Poets. Glad that Pseu highlighted it too.

9. Pseu - February 13, 2011

I know I’m slow, but I’ve only just followed the link Nuthatch.
Very interesting results: well worth a play I feel. And it seems you found it enjoyable too!

nrhatch - February 13, 2011

Thanks, Pseu. I understand completely.

Time slips away . . . does it not? 😉

10. estherlou - February 13, 2011

Very interesting idea. I’ll have to hunt up some of my past poetry and give it a try. I think I like your 2nd version the best. Curious, huh.

nrhatch - February 14, 2011

Thanks, Esther. It surprised me too. Enjoy yourself as you play with words!

11. Poetry in Reverse « Maggie Madly Writing - July 31, 2011

[…] got this idea from one of Nancy’s blogs and decided I’d try it […]

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