10-year-old writes brilliant poem about dyslexia and it goes viral


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/01/10-year-old-writes-brilliant-p.html


This reminds me very much of Brian Bilston’s wonderful poem: “Refugees” -

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read from bottom to top)

#NeedsMoreLikes (formerly known as "All the Likes")

The kids are gonna be okay :slight_smile:


I’m probably a jaded old grouch for posting this but:

and also this:


Which of the links goes to a version that is big enough to be read on my screen? All the ones I click on are illegible.


Here’s another reverse poem that made me cry:


Here is a transcript.


I am stupid.
Nobody would ever say
I have a talent for words

I was meant to be great.
That is wrong
I am a failure.

Nobody can ever convince me to think that
I can make it in life.

Now read up :slight_smile:


I am not dyslexic, but have had dyslexic loved ones and acquaintances all throughout my life. To a one they are sharp sharp folks… whether or not they were failed by their particular educational circumstances. There’s a gift in their cognition, and I always feel humbled when two or more dyslexics have a conversation about their personal and social learning skills.


How do I get my 10-year old to write that neatly?


Inspired and brilliant statement. Neurodiversity rules!


Very nice.

And yes, this has been done before. My favorite is a commercial from Argentina that won the silver lion at the 2006 Cannes Lions:
English version: https://adland.tv/commercials/recrear-truth-2006-220-argentina
Spanish version: https://adland.tv/adnews/recrear-truth-la-verdad-castellano-version-original-2006-220-argentina


Aye. I would never say that this is not a nice poem, or that it was copied directly from somewhere, or that it did not require at least some effort especially on the part of someone with language difficulties, or even that some ten-year-olds can’t be capable of some extraordinary things. But ten-year-old-me was a rampant not-quite-plagiarizer. (Not that there’s even necessarily something wrong with that; not-quite-plagiarizing can be quite educational.)


Give them a computer.

Seriously - my handwriting at that age was so bad that the eventual solution was that the school just gave up and let me keep writing in block capitals as the other kids moved on to lowercase printing and cursive, and eventually they just let me type everything.

Getting my own laptop at an early age probably is what put me on the path to my career as a programmer…


It does seem to be a poem that follows an established form.

Did Shakespeare invent the sonnet? If not, does that mean none of his sonnets are “extraordinary things”?



The sonnet form started on the European Continent in countries with Romance languages (making the rhymes easier), most notably Italy and France.

Milton tweaked the form to make it work with the English language.


Accomplished writers before they became writers, were avid, voracious readers. Reading others’ works is a start.


Eh… as someone with lifelong writing problems, reading won’t help. Being the most literate child in the region won’t affect how well your fingers move for penmanship. The good news is no one writes anything by hand anyway…


Perhaps my interpretation of the post that I was responding too was incorrect — but — I was interpreting “write neatly” as quality of composition… not penmanship.

@pvanb didn’t mention that the 10 year old was dyslexic, so…


I bet he wrote some killer reverse poems too. :wink:


I write by hand (lab book) and I’m continually frustrated by my slow unintelligible writing. Does anyone know of a good book/course/method to re-teach handwriting? Every time I look I find books teaching adult literacy. This is not my problem - I have a PhD - I just can’t make my hand make nicely written (readable) words on a page.