House of Confusion

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting the Bar:  Critique and Craft – Reverse Poetry (posted by Frank)

“A reverse poem is one that presents a message, story or a viewpoint for a few lines and then stops and rewinds all of it playing the message back, line by line, but in reverse order to present a very different story or viewpoint perhaps even the opposite of the first view. It can be quite powerful especially if the first direction is depressing and the reverse of that is uplifting.”

“Not all of the poem need be a reversal of some other part of the poem. Even the lines that are reversed need not be exactly the same. There is some flexibility here. The reader just needs to sense some kind of reversal.”

“Besides the reversed lines, you may need a transition line or section between the forward and reversed parts. There may also be a part at the beginning or end that is not part of the reversing lines of the poem.”

I sleep.
In my dream of a house

rooms empty and dim
a maze of half walls
nothing leads to a finished place.
Do I still wander and search?
Why would I wander and search?
nothing leads to a finished place–
that maze of half walls
rooms empty and dim,
in my dream of a house

is only a dream.  I wake.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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20 Responses to House of Confusion

  1. rothpoetry says:

    Nice Sara, great reversal in rooms and halls that lead to new beginnings!


  2. Grace says:

    I like the cycle of sleeping, dreaming and awakening. Its like a dream within a dream.


  3. I like this. Why search for anything in a dream…it is only a dream..


  4. Frank Hubeny says:

    I like how the you reversed these lines starting with sleep and ending with being awake. In dreams I wander and search.


  5. I love how the apprehension is left behind by waking. Beautiful words.


  6. Clever piece – hingeing on the ‘do I still…/why would I… and leaving the question unresolved just like a restless dream.


  7. Wonderful! You captured the mood of those kinds of dreams perfectly.


  8. I love this. Many dreams like this have led me to the glad awakening. Beautifully written!


  9. Candy says:

    You did a great job on this challenge in your dream house, Sara!


  10. mhmp77 says:


    nothing leads to a finished place.
    Do I still wander and search?

    A finality in dreams often met by those blessed



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