Table of Forms—The Anagram

An anagram is a word game in which a word or phrase is transformed into another word or phrase by rearranging its letters. It is important to point out that the number of instances of each letter is preserved. "Nag a ram" is a proper anagram of "anagram"—"Ma rang" is not because it is missing an "a." An anagram is a form of serial poetry.

The anagram is also a poetic technique that can be reapplied to units other than the letter. The words in a sentence, or the lines or sentences in a stanza or paragraph can also be rearranged. This may be called an ananym.

A famous example (in French) is Georges Perec's "Ulcerations" in which every line is an anagram of the word "ulcerations."

A Kite: a progressive polygram poem starting with a five letter pool. In section 0, the first line is anagrammatic. The following lines are a polygram (multiple lipogram). In 1-4, wildcard letters are added to the original pool, resulting in homogrammatic transgram strings of five-letter words having four, three, two, and one letters in common. 5 is a polygram excluding the original letter pool. Starting with 6, the poem shifts from being a number poem in which every word is five letters in length to a liponol in which no word is five letters in length. In the first line, every word contains four letters from the original pool; in the second line, every word contains three letters from the original pool; and so on until the last line of the section which shares no letters with the original pool. Finally, the entire poem is a liponym, excluding the word that the entire poem consists of variations on.

Newspoem 23 May 1998: a text is rearranged by sentences, words, and letters

Receivable: a text by Roland Barthes has every word greater than four letters in length converted into an anagram

Triple Anagram: a text's sentences are rearranged, then its words, then its letters.

Rishi Talks to Katie: a dialogue between two high school students: a text's sentences are rearranged, then its words, then its letters.

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Dominique Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn
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