Find Success: Reverse Poetry

Find Success

By Samantha Thuesen

You will fail.

And I cannot imagine that

you will amount to something.

We all believe

Everything happens for a reason.

But that’s not true.

Failure is inevitable.

You will find that


is better than


Life will teach you that

You are alone.

You should never think that

You have a purpose.

Everyone is against you.

It’s silly to think that

You have a future.

Now read it backwards.

Reverse poetry can be read forward and backward, both ways having a different meaning. Here’s another reverse poem called “Lost Generation,” which inspired the above poem I wrote.

Lost Generation

By Jonathan Reed

I am part of a lost generation

and I refuse to believe that

I can change the world

I realize this may be a shock but

“Happiness comes from within.”

is a lie, and

“Money will make me happy.”

So in 30 years I will tell my children

they are not the most important thing in my life

My employer will know that

I have my priorities straight because


is more important than


I tell you this

Once upon a time

Families stayed together

but this will not be true in my era

This is a quick fix society

Experts tell me

30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce

I do not concede that

I will live in a country of my own making

In the future

Environmental destruction will be the norm

No longer can it be said that

My peers and I care about this earth

It will be evident that

My generation is apathetic and lethargic

It is foolish to presume that

There is hope.

And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it.

When I was introduced to this kind of poetry, I was immediately captivated. Not only does it encompass two meanings, but it also requires very specific language; the words need to work together to be both positive and negative. This only enhances the beauty of reverse poetry: you need to take the good with the bad.

“Lost Generation” taken from:

Real Talk


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