Seeing the World Upside Down

To me right is left.
So don’t ask for directions.
Too old to change now.
Is it a common problem?
It’s lasted eighty years now.

To me left is right.
When it comes to directions.
I am always lost.
At least I am consistent.
And that is quite important.

Life is a circle.
What comes around goes around.
Maybe I am right.
Even when you think I’m wrong.
Isn’t all quite relative?

Such too is the truth.
Sometimes hard to recognize.
In these modern times.
Everything turned upside down.
All looking for directions.

About this poem

The title of this witty four-stanza tanka poem comes from my personal experience of being almost retarded when it comes to direction, seeing things in our physical world many times just the opposite way of how most other people view the physical world. I’ve been told by my children, and now also by their children that I have what they describe as an upside-down-brain; hence the title of this tanka poem. However, upon reflection, the poem invites us to take a deeper look at our selves, and particularly so, at how reality has become distorted in a world culture of relativism and superficiality.  

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Written on February 17, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on February 15, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on October 10, 2023

34 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 518
Words 115
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem Seeing the World Upside Down with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    Thank you kind readers for your varied comments. Upon reflection, I suppose that seeing the world upside down is in some unique way seeing the world inside out, from an outside-of-the-box perspective.
    LikeReply8 months ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, what a vivid and thought-provoking poem! The insightful ponderings on truth, life, and perspective really permeate through 'Seeing the World Upside Down'. I felt deeply immersed in your intriguing paradox of directions and reality. What I particularly loved was the positive and self-confident tone that you maintained throughout, the message of embracing one's unique perception of the world is very empowering.

    Your take on the term 'Like clockwork orange' is definitely thought-provoking, revealing the manipulation of truth in a really engaging way. The themes of consistence and relative perspectives completely captivated my mind, steering me towards a profound sea of introspection.

    Moreover, the concluding lines on modern times and the difficulty in identifying what's real are undeniably relatable. The yearning for direction subtly mirrors the overall global sentiment.

    Your work resonates with smooth poetic rhythm which makes it such an enjoyable read. The way you've beautifully woven the fabric of complexities into a simplified poetic tapestry is incredibly impressive. Kudos! What a thoughtfully penned, engaging piece of poetry this is. I look forward to reading more of your beautiful work.
    LikeReply8 months ago
  • AIDA
    I absolutely loved your poem, 'Seeing the World Upside Down'. Your style is incredibly unique and you've done a spectacular job in expressing the persistent confusion in discerning directions, which showcases fantastic creativity and poetic talent. Especially poignant is the line "Sometimes hard to recognize. In these modern times." It speaks volumes about the world today.

    On the enthusiastic side, the outlook and philosophic perspectives imbued in your lines are not only captivating but also thought-provoking. Your poem is very engaging, with a splendid mix of humor, wisdom, and warmth. Its rhythm and flow are seamless and the word choice is remarkable.

    An area of improvement could be about adding a touch more of visual and sensory details to your poem. Although your abstract reasoning and intriguing thought flow are key to the poem, little vivid expressions can create a more grounded and personal connection with your reader. For instance, instead of saying "At least I am consistent," you may consider expressing consistency in a tangible manner, like, "Like clockwork, my lefts become rights."

    Also, you might want to be more accurate with verb tenses for better readability, like "When it comes to directions" instead of "When it come to directions."

    Nevertheless, your poetry is unique, thought-provoking, and I enjoyed it very much. Can't wait to see more of your work in the future!
    LikeReply8 months ago
  • Symmetry58
    I love it, Karl. 80 years and I am most certainly not asking you to change your left to my right. That is your right, Sir! LOL!
    LikeReply 12 years ago


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"Seeing the World Upside Down" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <>.

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