Friday, April 5, 2019

Poetry Friday: Anagram Poems

Anagram poems are wily.  They seem easy, but run you ragged. Also, they come in a myriad of forms, but for this challenge, we'll stick to the variations below (Each is linked to an example.)

1. lines or stanzas with word pairs that are anagrams (composed of the same letters), or
2. lines made up of all the same set of words, or
3. when end words all use at least four letters from words in the title.

I'm also going to add this definition (found by Tanita Davis):

4. a poem which anagrams the poet's name to find a title...and any poem you can create out of said title (usually humorous.)

All that to say:  I didn't really follow these rules.  (No one is surprised, right?)

Anyway, I landed instead, on a form that combines variations #1 and #3. (Honestly, #1 was fine, but I got tired of trying to find multiple pairs. #2 seemed too hard....and not really anagram-y. And #3 seemed more like a word search game.) 

So...  instead of multiple pairs, I decided to use only ONE set of anagrams, a list of six words which all use the same letters, and I used them all as end words, too.

Oh, AND I learned a new word.

From Creative Joys

Forgive me, I never knew your name

Unsung, sepal
props bud as it leaps
to bloom after long lapse,

sturdily bells to full calyx, but pleas
for love are unheard peals.
Beside blossoms, all pales.

----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

More about sepals here (one of the four basic parts of a flower, how could I not know?)

And for more beautiful pictures of sepals by one who obviously DOES appreciate them, please see here.

Readers, I confess: the temptation to go silly was strong.  I made myself attempt a "serious" poem first.  Then I indulged in Variation #4.  Yes, I anagrammed my own name.  Found a title.  Wrote a poem to match.

 by Sara Lewis Holmes

For sale! For sale!
A simar or two….modest shifts for you and you!
Or is it better hawked as “wispy” dress?
Or say, a trailing scarf? Brought in at yonder wharf?
Or maybe it’s actually a jacket? With fur-lined placket?
Definitions diverge. Still, prices low. Splurge!

I'm saving you from my other anagram title:  "I am Showerless, Al."

My poetry sisters anagram poems (of all variations) can be found here:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by the delightful Karen Edmisten.


  1. I teach my preservice teachers to dissect flowers of all types, so I adore sepals and we spend a lot of time examining them. I'm so glad you chose this set of words. As I was with Tanita's poem Blush, I'm so impressed you managed a poem with anagrams of the same word! And now, I must ask permission to share this with my students in the future, because it's freakin' brilliant.

  2. I ALSO didn't know about sepals and Sara, that poem is really exquisite! I feel like I may need to give anagrams another crack. You all were able to make such magic!

    1. The magic was in finding a ready made list of six words. Then I built a poem around them.

  3. Hahaha, you crack me up. I am now very curious about your second name anagram poem. Wow, I am impressed at how you used so many anagrams of the same 5 letters. Such a dense and vivid poem!

    1. I didn't write that Showerless poem....yet. Saving it for when I need to procrastinate on something important, haha.

  4. Sepals! I love the science-y beauty of a plain-jane word that kicks it all off. Beside blossoms, all pales - because this time of year, we can only see petals. Good to know the undergirding is still there.

    I'm going to look for a SIMAR today; I had a proudly worn thriftstore nightgown when I was a kid that looked like some weird Georgian relic, and I'm PRETTY SURE it was a simar. (PS - There was a change of Poetry Friday hosts, so I hooked you up.)


    2. Thank you, Tanita. That was kind!

  5. So good! Knowing something's name does make you love it more...

  6. I am loving, and inspired by all the sisters' anagram poems. I shall put this format in my poetry pocket to bring out for another time.

  7. Oh, Sara, your first poem is sublime, and thank you for teaching me a new word, too! (Yes, yes, how did I not know that?) I love your silly one, too, and laughed out loud at "I am Showerless, Al." It reminded me of something my daughters and I often say -- one day our doorbell rang and I said, "I can't answer that! I'm braless and unshowered!" We decided "Braless and Unshowered" might be a great blog name. :)


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