The Folk Who Live in Backward Town

By Mary Ann Hoberman b. 1930
The folk who live in Backward Town
Are inside out and upside down.
They wear their hats inside their heads
And go to sleep beneath their beds.
They only eat the apple peeling
And take their walks across the ceiling.

Mary Ann Hoberman, “The Folk Who Live in Backward Town” from The Llama Who Had No Pajamas: 100 Favorite Poems. Copyright © 1959 and renewed 1987 by Mary Ann Hoberman. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Source: The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems (Oxford University Press, 1999)

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Poet Mary Ann Hoberman b. 1930

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 Mary Ann Hoberman


Mary Ann Hoberman was born on August 12, 1930, in Stamford, Connecticut. In 1951, she received a BA in history from Smith College and, thirty-five years later, an MA in English literature from Yale University. She co-founded and performed with both “The Pocket People,” a children’s theatre group, and “Women’s Voice,” a group giving dramatized poetry readings. But ever since her first book was published in 1957, her primary . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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