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Unfolding Poem

origami swan, folded paper resembling a swan
No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To build up a poem using verses from multiple people.

How to play

Players sit in a circle. The first player takes a sheet of paper and writes down two rhyming lines, and the first part of a third line. The sheet is folded so that only the incomplete third line is visible. The sheet is then passed to the second player. The second player completes the third line, adds a fourth line that rhymes with the third, and starts a fifth line. Once again the sheet is folded so that only the incomplete line is visible, and the sheet is passed to the next player. This continues until all players have made at least one contribution. The sheet is then unfolded and the poem is read out loud. Multiple rounds around the circle can be made if there are a small number of players, or if a longer poem is desired. Alternatively, each player writes just one line and copies the final word of that line into the margin below the fold to indicate to the next player the word he is to rhyme in his line.

This game is similar to Unfolding Story.


Six players sit in a circle. After one round, they produce this twelve-line poem:

She is now a very happy lady
Having dined with Mr. Brady.
But she thinks
having a limp is better
Than getting a soggy letter.
For she knows
storm chasers haven't much to do
Whenever the skies are so clear and blue.
So she went
to Cincinnati,
To look for her friend Patty,
To tell her
"You need to always smile,
Or it will crimp your style."
She started walking like an east coast mortician,
Which is better than a west coast politician.

Did you know?

According to Guinness World Records, in 2002 Britney Gallivan of Pomona, California was the first person to fold a single piece of paper in half 12 times.

cartoon of toilet paper roll looking at cardboard paper roll

While still a high school student, Britney used a single roll of toilet paper 4,000 feet in length. That's just over three-quarters of a mile long!

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