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Teacher Asks Students for Poem That Can Be Read Backwards. One Girl’s Poem on Dyslexia Left Her ‘Stunned’

Girl writing
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At first glance, the poem is a window into the difficulty of living with a learning disability. But that’s only half the story.

As Cafemom reports, Jane Broadis, a teacher from the U.K., recently took to Twitter to share a poem from one of her students. Broadis had asked her sixth-year students to write a poem that could be read both forwards and backwards. But she wasn’t prepared for what one student would share about the struggle with dyslexia.

“I was stunned by this one written by one of my 10 year olds,” Broadis tweeted, asking people to share the student’s poem. She added, “I would love her work to be appreciated further afield. I wonder if it could even find a publisher?”

Read forward, the poem—titled “Dyslexia”—appears to be a straightforward account of the sense of failure and frustration the writer experiences:

I am stupid.

Nobody would ever say

I have a talent for words

I was meant to be great.

That is wrong

I am a failure.

Nobody could ever convince me to think that

I can make it in life.

However, when read backwards, the poem becomes something very different. When one “reads up,” as the author instructs at the bottom of the poem, it transforms into a statement of empowerment:

I can make it in life.

Nobody could ever convince me to think that

I am a failure.

That is wrong

I was meant to be great.

I have a talent for words

Nobody would ever say

I am stupid.

The teacher wasn’t the only one impressed by the young author’s work. Her tweet of the poem has been shared more than 57,000 times and liked more than 176,000 times.

While the poem has been widely praised, some of the most touching comments came from others with dyslexia and learning disorders. Several said that the young writer had managed to capture the frustration of the condition while still offering inspiration.

In a follow-up tweet, Broadis wrote that since she shared the poem, it has been seen by almost 10 million people. It just goes to show how true the “backwards” version of the poem really is.

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