Vocabularyclept poem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A vocabularyclept poem is a poem which is formed by taking the words of an existing poem and rearranging them into a new work of literature.

Vocabularyclept poetry was first proposed in 1969 by Word Ways editor Howard Bergerson. He took his little-known 1944 poem "Winter Retrospect", put all the words in alphabetical order, and challenged readers to arrange them all into a new poem.[1] The challenge was taken up later that year by J. A. Lindon, who, without having consulted Bergerson's original, produced an entirely different poem also titled "Winter Retrospect".[2][3] Both poems are 24 lines long and contain 478 words, and have been subject to several literary and statistical analyses.[4][3][5]

Many vocabularyclept poems by Lindon and others appeared in later issues of Word Ways. These and others are collected and discussed in various wordplay books by Bergerson and David Morice.[6][7]

A variation on the idea of rearranging an existing vocabulary into a poem was independently discovered by Dave Kapell. His Magnetic Poetry kits consist of individual words—often related to a particular theme or topic—printed on small magnets which can be creatively arranged on a refrigerator or other metal surface.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rogers, Ben (February 1969). "Some Neglected Ways of Words". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. Greenwood Periodicals. 2 (1): 14–19.
  2. ^ Lindon, J. A. (May 1969). "The Vocabularyclept Poem, № 1". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. Greenwood Periodicals. 2 (2): 85–89.
  3. ^ a b Bishop, Yvonne M.; Fienberg, Stephen E.; Holland, Paul W. (2007). Discrete Multivariate Analysis: Theory and Applications. Springer. pp. 340–342. ISBN 978-0-387-72805-6.
  4. ^ Eckler, Jr., A. Ross (May 1970). "Anagramming One Poem into Another". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 3 (2): 86–90.
  5. ^ Eckler, Jr., A. Ross (1973). "The Similarity of Two Poems". In Mosteller, F. Statistics by Example: Finding Models. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. pp. 75–87. ISBN 978-0201048797.
  6. ^ Bergerson, Howard W. (1973). "Vocabularyclept Poetry or Mathematical Collaboration". Palindromes and Anagrams. Dover. pp. 20–39. ISBN 978-0486206646.
  7. ^ Morice, Dave (2007). "Vocabularyclept Poetry". The Adventures of Dr. Alphabet: 104 Unusual Ways to Write Poetry in the Classroom and the Community. Teachers & Writers Collaborative. ISBN 978-0915924448.
  8. ^ Truong, Khai N.; Huang, Elaine M.; Abowd, Gregory D. (2004). "CAMP: A Magnetic Poetry Interface for End-User Programming of Capture Applications for the Home". UbiComp 2004: Ubiquitous Computing: 6th International Conference. Nottingham: Springer. pp. 143–160.