The poem on YouTube, titled "Lost Generation," has two different meanings. When it is read forward it has a different meaning from when it is backwards. What type of poetry is this?

1 Answer

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The poet who wrote "Lost Generation," Jonathon Reed, seems to be playing upon the idea of the palindrome. A palindrome is a set of words, numbers or phrases which can be read in four different directions: up, down, right to left, and left to right. That said, while the poem's meaning changes when read from the bottom to the top, this is not a true palindrome, even though it follows the premise of a palindrome.

After researching the poem, the searches come under the poem do come up under this literary device. It would seem that the change of meaning does not matter when looking at a poem in regards to it being identified as a palindrome. In essence, the fact that the poem still makes sense when read backward allows it to be defined as one though.

Many palindromes, like ones used in mathematics, exist in the same way regardless of what order one reads. It also has the same meaning for the mathematician.

That said, it would seem that Reed chose to use the idea of a palindrome, but did not strictly adhere to the rules of the palindrome.