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No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To write a poem that can be read in two different ways.

How to play

An equivoque is a verbal expression that has more than one meaning. One player challenges himself to compose an equivoque poem which can be read in two different ways. This easiest way to accomplish this is to write the individual lines so they fall into two distinct groups. For instance, if a player reads only the first part of each line, he gets a different meaning than if he read just the second part of each line. The same affect could also be achieved by reading odd and even lines. Once written, the poem is given to the other players. The first player to correctly identify the two competing meanings is the winner.


Alfred writes an equivoque poem for the other players to solve:

I want to extinguish
Every flame I see
On every block
In every city
Every building
Big or small
All worldly possessions until
Everyone is safe and afraid
No more.

Bonnie solves this equivoque. She explains that if you read the entire poem through, it is as if it was written by a fireman. But if you read just every other line starting with the first, it is as if it was written by an arsonist instead. The key word is ‘extinguish’ which usually means ‘to cause something to cease to burn.’ But it can also mean ‘to destroy or annihilate something.’

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