Ideas strangest the have kids

While this may be old news to proof-readers I’ve recently discovered the joys of reading a text backwards. A poem that I’ve got to know from repeated readings gives up more information, repetitions become more obvious and subtle word choices shine out more. This process of defamiliarisation reminded me of Rob Pope’s theories of textual intervention which produced playful and exciting ways of seeing what a text could offer. This may sound like pompous rubbish to you (as it would have to me once upon a time) but in poetry, where so much of what’s said is revealed over time, these technique can be highly rewarding.

And where did I get this idea? From my four year old daughter, who wanted me to read a bedtime story backwards, just for fun.


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