Purple Rose Puzzles webpages banner

Scrambled Poems

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


To unscramble a poem after its words have been scrambled.

How to play

A vocabularyclept poem is a poem whose words were taken and rearranged from another existing poem. Players challenge themselves or others to write such poetry.

A simpler game is had when the words of an existing poem (usually a well-known one) are scrabbled and presented randomly, or in alphabetical order, to the other players. The first player to figure out the original poem is declared the winner. A time limit can also be set to enhance the competitive spirit.


Amelia gives the following list of words to Bob, challenging him to write out the original poetic lines, as well as to identify the title and the poet's name. She hints that these are the final lines of a famous poem written by a 20th century American poet.

a, all, and, and, by, difference, diverged, has, I, I, in, less, made, one, roads, that, the, the, took, traveled, two, wood

Bob quickly identifies this as Robert Frost's 1916 poem "The Road Not Taken."

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Bob then writes a new poem using every word of an equally famous poem. He presents this to Amelia, asking her to write out the original sixteen-word poem.

So glazed,
white, red,
much depends.

Rain barrow
beside, upon
a wheel.

The chickens with water.

After a few minutes, Amelia correctly writes out William Carlos Williams’ 1923 poem "The Red Wheelbarrow."

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white chickens

More Word Games