Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Make Visible: Aragman

I made my anagram poem, an Aragman, from a line from “A Blessing”, a beautiful poem by James Arlington Wright.  I found 6001 anagrams for “contain their happiness.”  I chose the ones I used for the poem below from the first 1000.

Here are the basic rules for constructing an Aragman (courtesy of Mary Jensen, her post is here: Focus on Form:  Aragman).



The poem consists of six-line stanzas, ending with a stand alone line.

The concept centers around anagrams (“aragman” is, in fact, an anagram of “anagram”). Here are the rules, as set by Buttaci:

  1. First of all, begin with a word or two, perhaps your first name or first and last name. Settle on a word or two with not too many letters.
  2.  After you settle on a word, go to the internet site
  3. Type in your word and click on “Get Anagrams.” Instantly, you will be provided with all the words that use the letters of your chosen word.
  4. Copy/paste all the words that are derived from your chosen word and carry it over to your Microsoft Word screen, give the file a name, and save it.
  5. Now take a look at each of the anagrams and decide on a few for your aragman. You will need three for each six-line stanza. From the list select those anagrams that can be woven into your poem.
  6. In each stanza, odd-numbered lines 1, 3, and 5 are different anagrams from your list. If it’s possible, restrict each anagram on these lines to the same number of syllables. Make these anagram lines darker than the others. Even-numbered lines 2, 4, and 6 are completions of corresponding anagram lines 1, 3, and 5. If possible, let these completion lines also conform to the same number of syllables.
  7. The poem’s last line stands alone, after the stanzas, and it is one more anagram line.

The trick for this is finding a good phrase or word that will produce enough workable anagrams. Have fun trying different word combinations until you find something you like.


Those are the rules, here’s how to break them.

Contain Their Happiness

(you are a blessing to me)

You speak to me in code, tapping on my wrist,

heartaches pinion pints

the pinions of my heart, the engines of my mouth,

apothecaries ninth spin

the bottle spins, “Drink Me” the tag reads,

piranhas cops ninetieth

he’s not like the others, for the 90th time,

partisanship once thine

I cleave you, we break apart,

pharaohs incites tenpin

like bowling in bikinis, it’s a delicate dance,

antenna choppiest irish

radio only gets U2 songs from the 80s, vinyl varieties,

passionate chip thinner

to fit into your white-picket-fence vision, let me

phantasies enrich point

enter your dreams, as you have mine,

catnap pithiness heroin

such a diabolical drug in my veins.

© Anne Westlund

Point Judith, Rhode Island

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One thought on “Make Visible: Aragman

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