Saturday, June 9, 2007

Through the Looking Glass



In Natasha Trethewey's book Native Guard, she includes the amazing poem Myth. In this poem, she creates a mirror image where the first line becomes the last line, the second line becomes the second to last line. The poem almost folds in on itself and it can be read backwards and forwards.

During the discussion for book club, Sasha asked if anyone was going to try the form. I didn't think I could do it, but lo and behold, this poem came out. It ain't perfect, but I'm pretty darn proud of it, due to the dexterity of the form.

If anyone knows the name of this form, please tell me. I couldn't find it anywhere!

Alice at 40

"It's a poor sort of memory that works only backwards." The Queen, Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Her little life turned out
just as she had planned:
a pretty package, complete with tidy bow.

Her face remained, mirror smooth and calm,
while beneath the surface, reflections raged
every passing moment.

She found it impossible to put them into words,
so letters tumbled out, a muddy soup of sound.
She tried to swallow it whole again, which never works.

* * *

She tried to swallow it whole again, which never works,
so letters tumbled out, a muddy soup of sound.
She found it impossible to put them into words

every passing moment.
Whle beneath the surface, reflections raged,
her face remained, mirror smooth and calm,

a pretty package, complete with tidy bow.
Just as she had planned,
her little life turned out.

5 Comments:

A Life Uncommon said...

Hello, I have enjoyed my visit. I loved the myth and the poem you penned is fine too.
Thanks
Donetta

Jessica said...

Thanks for stopping by Donetta -- I'm glad you got a chance to read Myth, which I think is such an amazing poem.

Sasha said...

Wow Jessica, you did it! I am quite impressed. QUITE impressed. I know it must have been a challenge, and yet it really works, if you know what I mean.

I haven't been writing much the last couple of weeks; the garden season is taking over my life. But the idea is percolating, and I'll be sure to let you know when I manage my version.

Thanks for sharing!

...deb said...

This is a great poem. Alice is a perfect foil and the lines roll back and forth wonderfully.

I have no idea what the form is. But I've seen two examples that I like a great deal.

Mary-LUE said...

That was fun! I really liked what you did with it. I'll have to go check out Myth, now.