10-year-old's 'reverse' poem about dyslexia goes viral: 'Words are so powerful'

The piece is actually two poems in one.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

Kids say the darnedest things. They can also write the most compelling ones.

A "reverse" poem a 10-year-old girl in England wrote about dyslexia has gone viral for its clever formatting and inspiring message.

The poem, aptly called “Dyslexia,” paints a downtrodden picture when you read it from top to bottom, but strikes a much more empowering tone when you read from the bottom line back to the top.

Jane Broadis, the girl's teacher at Christ Church School, just north of London, shared the poem on Twitter where it has been widely applauded.

The poem reads:

“I am stupid

Nobody would ever say

I have a talent for words

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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”

The author, whose identity has not been revealed, is neither dyslexic nor has any connection with the learning disorder. “She’s just a sensitive child and that’s the theme she chose,” Broadis tells TODAY. “I’ve spoken about dyslexia. It’s just something she tuned into.”

The poem was a happy accident. “We were filling time. It wasn’t even part of a lesson,” Broadis said.

Students reminded her that she had told them once about a reverse poem called “Worst Day Ever?,” which was written by American teenager Chanie Gorkin back in 2015. The students then gave it a try by writing a few lines themselves, an exercise that really captured the imagination of the girl who wrote this piece.

“She chose to carry on,” Broadis said, even after class ended. “She chose to stay in my classroom at lunchtime on her own. She’s a little wordsmith.

“It was completely independent work with no input from me.”

Broadis, who’s been a teacher for 26 years, thinks she knows why the poem has struck such a chord.

“There’s massive encouragement for people with dyslexia,” she said. “It’s got such broad appeal. That’s why it’s resonated so strongly.”

Broadis also believes the poem underscores something else.

“Words are so powerful. They can really make a difference,” she said. “Encourage children that they have a voice. Teach them about resilience and your own personal attitude.”

Broadis says a few people have reached out to her about running "Dyslexia" elsewhere online or publishing it.

“It would be lovely to see in print,” she said. “I just want to celebrate my student’s work.”