Day 3: Endings and beginnings

It’s the end of the workweek, which can feel a little crazy–in a tired way and in a looking-forward-to-Saturday way.

Today’s exercise is based on “an Exercise in Derangement,” offered by Carmen Giménez Smith in Wingbeats II.

It’s a way to play with syntax, to push it a little, and it’s simple in concept:

Rewrite your poem, or an excerpt from your poem, backwards–every word. It will not make sense. Don’t worry.

For example, if the last stanza of my poem is

Into this living we walk,
one prayer, one step in the sand,
a path through the beach grass.

I’ll write

grass beach the through path a
sand the in step one prayer one
walk we living this into

and on to the beginning.

Now, for the moment, let go of the poem it was. Let it be something new. Go through and change it to make some somewhat recognizable sense and pull new images out of it. Delete what no longer fits. Move things around. Have fun!

What did you come up with? If you go back to your original version, does the inversion provide you with revisions of phrasing or new images?