My World Is Turning Downside-Up

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My Life Is Turning Downside-Up by Kenn Nesbitt

My world is turning downside-up.
I’m really not top-tip.
My life is feeling outside-in.
I’ve had a big flop-flip.

My brain feels like a mashmish
that got stepped on by Kong King.
My mind is goosey-loosey
like I’m just a dumb dong-ding.

My life’s not peasy-easy.
It’s not so duper-super.
It feels more like the podgehodge
from inside a scooper-pooper.

But, still, I know what life’s about:
I’ll do the Pokey-Hokey,
and turn myself around until
I’m feeling dokey-okey.

 — Kenn Nesbitt

Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Reading Level: Grade 3

Topics: Wacky Weirdness, Wordplay

Poetic Techniques: Idioms, Lyric & Dramatic Poems, Repetition, Wordplay


About This Poem

When you repeat sounds within a word or phrase, it is called “reduplication.” Whether you are repeating the whole sound, such as “booboo” or “gogo,” or just the rhyming sounds, like “downtown” or “walkie-talkie,” or just the consonants, as in “ping pong” or “zigzag,” these are different types of reduplication.

When you combine two rhyming words into a single word, such as “easy-peasy,” “super-duper,” and “loosey-goosey” this is a kind of reduplication called a “close rhyme” (because the rhymes are close together).

I started this poem with the idea of reversing “upside-down” and making it “downside-up.” From there, I realized I could also reverse “inside-out” to make it “outside-in.” As I started adding more lines to the poem, I decided to reverse a whole bunch of reduplicated phrases and see what would happen. I hope you like the result.

By the way, I first started exploring close rhymes and other reduplications when I wrote the poem The Tighty-Whitey Spider. If you would also like to explore more (see what I did there?), I have a list of close rhymes and reduplications here. If you think of any that aren’t on my list, please let me know so I can add them!

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