To all the good girls

Photo by Wellington Cunha from Pexels

To all the good girls

We despair of you losing a good time
We despair of you being fast asleep at bedtime
and be numbed normally grey and unmoved
and stable and sane and with all troubles removed

and as expected at the wake-up chime
to wake up slowly in your own time
We despair it’ll go much faster than you think
We despair it will take but a seconds blink


The conflicted poet

At first it seemed like a waste of words and time
I don’t want to write about good girls being fine
But then I starten to flip (nearly) all the words
And got surprised at what I heard
A note from all the naughty girls
To all the goody two shoes that never through the night twirls


Photo by Maor Attias from Pexels

Written for tonight’s dVerse — Poetics — Flipping Meanings prompt. Tonight’s challenge, was to pick one of these three pathways to use to write a poem:

  1. Choose one of your favorite poems by another poet and flip the meaning on it as shown in the video. Please include both the original poem and poet’s attribution along with your flipped poem;
  2. Choose one of your OWN favorite poems and flip it. Please include your original poem along with your flipped poem;
  3. Write a diamante poem as outlined above.

Bonus challenge questions: how did it feel to flip the script? Are you happy with how it turned out?

I chose path 3 and picked a poem I loved during adolescence. From A Bad Girl by Karin Boye, although I much prefer using naughty or wicked when I translate the title. I also took the bonus challenge which itself turned into another poem.

One of the few words I didn’t flip was Girl, the reason for this is that I identify both with the original poem and as a girl. So I wanted to keep an hint of the original meaning.

You can read a translation of the original below. The translation is from The Karin Boye Society.


I hope you’re having a rotten time.
I hope you’re lying awake like I am,
and feeling strangely glad and stirred
and dizzy and anxious and very disturbed.

and suddenly you’ll hurry up
to settle down and sleep like a top.
I hope it takes you longer than you think…
I hope you don’t even get a wink!

Från en stygg flicka av Karin Boye – Translated into English by David McDuff in “Karin Boye: Complete poems”.

10 thoughts on “To all the good girls

Add yours

  1. ……💝💝 You have hit it out of the park with this one! I mean goodness.. I love the connection of ideas and thoughts between; “We despair of you losing a good time/I don’t want to write about good girls being fine,” and finally “I hope you’re lying awake like I am.” It’s beautifully done!

  2. Helene, I love the focus you gave to this prompt and the insights you gleaned from it. I enjoyed reading your flipped poem and the original it was based on. It is reasonable to keep the gender the same. Wonderful poeming!

  3. Oh Helene….oh Helene…..what a great flip!!!! “A note from all the naughty girls
    To all the goody two shoes ” These words had me chuckling out loud. Actually, I think this flip of yours should be made into a song! Hmmmm who would be appropriate to sing it and what would the video look like??? :)

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