A HASIDIC girl from Brooklyn, New York, wrote a clever poem that spread like wildfire online and became a hit after it was posted on a wall in London.
Chanie Gorkin, in eleventh grade at the all-girls Lubavitch high school Beth Rivkah in Crown Heights, jotted down the lines for a class assignment last year and then published it on PoetryNation.com.
What happened next is remarkable.
Zachery Stephenson, the events manager at the Nambucca bar on Holloway Road in North London had tacked the poem on a wall, after his cousin in New York had forwarded it in response to a negative Facebook post, US ABC News reports.
There it was seen by Ronnie Joice, who was feeling a “bit worn out” after a day of meetings about a prospective job.
The poem, which at first appears to be a bleak outlook on a bad day, contains a surprise. The ending instructs the reader to go back and re-read from the bottom to the top, which completely reverses its meaning.
Mr Joice was so taken with the clever poem, he photographed and posted it to Twitter, which resulted in thousands of shares on social media.
The uplifting poem — ironically titled “Worst Day Ever?” — has since been translated into multiple languages, including Hebrew, Chinese and Russian. Her father, Baruch Gorkin, posted some of the translations to his Facebook page.
Chanie’s brother, Shimon Gorkin, proudly posted: “That’s my sister!”
Chanie’s mother, Dena Gorkin, confirmed to ABC News that her daughter wrote the poem. She also said Chanie was away at summer camp and unavailable for comment, but Mrs Gorkin has been telling her daughter about the reaction to the poem and “she’s quite overwhelmed.”
“One of the major tenets of Hasidic philosophy is that the mind rules over the heart, that we are able to channel our emotions to the positive … that there is God in everything, and it is part of our mission in life to look for the good, and to find it and to spread it,” Mrs Gorkin said.
So, when Chanie was given the assignment to write about her worst day ever, she used her writing skills to turn the question around.
The Worst Day Ever, by Chanie Gorkin
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day
Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
And see what I really feel about my day.
Additional reporting by Network Writers