friday feast = a steady riff

#5 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

    photo by kazenka03

Happy Spring!!

It’s finally here! We’ve got sunny blue skies and daffodil shoots coming up. The birds are singing and busy building nests. Flocks of robins have been touching down in the back yard, on their way north after long winter vacations. Slowly but surely, nature is awakening — time to dust off cold, dark days, and shake things up.

That’s why I’ve invited 26 of my closest friends to help us celebrate today.

All winter long, they’ve been lying around like this:

photo by obsessed scrapbooker

But now, they want to go outside and play — with anagrams!

With a little letter rearranging, you can discover hidden meanings in words. They say anagrams never lie. They contain provocative bits of wisdom and are sometimes wonderfully magical. Besides, letters love it when you toss them around and mix them up. Let’s get the party started.

Here are some ice breakers:

Postmaster = Stamp Store
The eyes = they see
Mother-in-Law = Woman Hitler
Western Union = No wire unsent.

What about:

Poetry Friday  = Ready for pity.
Poem = mope.
William Shakespeare = I am a weakish speller.

Uh-Oh. I see a negative pattern developing.

Instead, how about a nod to the lovely Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader, who is hosting the Roundup today?

Elaine Magliaro = Agile Ear Oilman.

You must admit, she’s great at making up funny-sounding words and tuning up our poetic and political sensibilities. Recently, she started a new blog called Political Verses, where she posts humorous poems about people in the news who drive you crazy. It feels so good to vent!

Perhaps, then, we should go with this one:

Elaine Magliaro = I am a genial role.

No doubt, she would appreciate, George Bush = He bugs Gore.

The other day, while browsing a Billy Collins anthology (loony bloats chillingly), I discovered this cool poem by Peter Pereira. It’s playful on the outside, serious on the inside, and provides a new spin on the transforming power of poetry. It’s pretty clever word-jinks, and does, indeed, make me wonder how I could rearrange my own life even just a little, to find my true path.

by Peter Pereira

photo by obsessed scrapbooker

If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
and Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.

If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.

(Rest is here.)

Time for dessert:

I couldn’t help myself (it’s spring, after all, and too much fun). I anagrammed all 7 of the Poetry Princesses, who wrote an awesome Crown of Sonnets last April. I’ll leave it to them to decide whether these reveal any hidden truths:

Elizabeth Garton Scanlon = brazen lethal contagions (?)
Kelly Fineman = leafy men link
Tricia Stohr-Hunt = ah hit instructor, or, runtish hit actor
Laura Salas = Aural salsa (she speaks Spanish?)
Cloudscome = close um, doc
Tanita S. Davis = a distant visa
Sara Lewis Holmes = a wireless shalom

As for me?

Jama Kim Rattigan = I am a jam tart king!

photo by minimallyinvasivenj

Okay, okay, since I like you, you can have one.

And, Alphabet Soup = A Potable Push or Spatula Be Bop!

P.S. For all the non-believers, who ask me, “Why all the fuss over soup?”, here’s my answer:

Every day, I look into my kettle, and find this:

But after stirring things around a little, I can sometimes create this:

Moral: Alphabet = Able path.

P.P.S. chocolate = cool cheat
editor = redo it
publisher = Lib Pusher

Somebody, stop me!

If you want to anagram some more, try this website, or this one! Warning: it’s very addictive :).

Don’t miss the Anagram Hall of Fame, which lists all the ones Mr. Pereira used in his poem!


Certified authentic alphabetica, handmade just for you with love and a decided passion for wordplay.

33 thoughts on “friday feast = a steady riff

  1. Tanita Says 🙂

    “and not one letter separates stained from sainted.”

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    I have to say that I think there ARE hidden truths revealed within the Poetry Princess anagrammatic! Tricia is an actress (possibly just a hit woman instructor in her spare time), and Kelly — and the gnomes — leafy men!?! Could it not be more perfect?! Laura’s poetry dances in our ears — that kind of salsa — and while I wasn’t sure about Elizabeth’s — (lethal? Our Zen girl?) I tried it with just Liz, and she’s Tarzan clings loon. Which isn’t any better, except I know she was swinging through the trees on her vacation. Cloudscome, as Andromeda Jazmon ends up as Damn! daze on, major! Which is surely a message from… somewhere…

    I’m having far too much time-wasting fun…


  2. Re: Tanita Says 🙂

    Liz’s name seems to defy anagrams. I tried it all kinds of ways — just Liz Scanlon, and Liz Garton Scanlon, and with Elizabeth, and I kept getting zinc! Brazen lethal contagion is just not the Liz we know and love, unless it’s her stance against eating meat :)!

    I thought “a distant visa” suited you, as you do speak to us from far away, and there was another one for you, “a diva’s titan,” that seemed relevant too. I don’t know, bagpipes keep coming to mind when I think of you :D!


  3. Re: Tanita Says 🙂

    Hee! Me! A diva! Well, I’ll take that one, too. But a distant visa seemed VERY appropriate!


  4. Dear Jam Tart King,

    I like that poem. I also tried to anagram “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.” I got as far as “Been Eating Pie Fast…” Still more letters left, but I’m happy stopping there. 🙂 And I KNEW you’d appreciate THAT.



  5. I’m not very good with anagrams, I’m afraid, although I can sometimes do those newspaper puzzles where you have to make smaller words out of the given target word. Using ALL the letters, though – that’s much harder!

    Happy spring! It flurried here this morning. 😛


  6. It’s great that now they have computer programs that do all the work for you. It’s amazing. Besides single words or short phrases, there are anagrams of long things — like the Gettysburg Address!


  7. Re: Tanita Says 🙂

    I read Liz’s and thought “yes – that’s her exactly!” because she is brazen in that she’s always willing to put herself out there. It’s one of the things I love about her, in fact!


  8. Oh, Jama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You ARE a jam tart king. You are, you are, you really are!!!!

    These are the funniest, most charming anagrams I’ve ever seen.

    Tanita’s — A distant visa?? Hello! How appropos!
    And Laura’s aural salsa? Yes.
    O mercy, I love these.

    As for my contagiousness. Well. Before I married, my initials were EDG which, in high school, I thought particularly lethal and, um, edgy. So. There’s that 🙂


  9. Hey, what’s the deal, Jam Tart King? My blog aggregator has not been notifying me of your posts!

    Ooh, I’m aural salsa! I love that. I need to write some appropriately spicy poems. Douglas Florian had an anagram post a few days/weeks ago, and after that I went and played with the anagram creator awhile. However, I did nothing with it, while you created this delightful post. You truly turn blogging into an art form. You DO make Soup an opus on a regular basis.

    Tanita’s and Sara’s seem magically on target. Forget numerology–I’ll take actual letters as my destiny any day.

    Thanks for sharing our Crown Sonnet again. We may have something new to share someday in the future…um, or maybe I’m not supposed to say that.

    Happy spring, Jama!


  10. Random Jam an Doze is fabulous!! I wish I had seen that one when I anagrammed your full name. This means you’re an official subject belonging to my Jam Tart Kingdom!!


  11. Elaine M.


    Thanks for linking to my new blog, Political Verses. Some of the news I read about/hear about makes my blood boil. Venting in verse helps me let off steam.

    Can you believe that some of the firms that got bailout money are now using some of it for campaign contributions???!!!!!!!! Check out Follow the Bailout Cash, an article in Newsweek:


  12. I am a jam tart king = WIN!

    Tarie Sabido = so a diatribe * rolling on the floor laughing :D*

    Into the Wardrobe


  13. Oh my gosh!!! “Tie is abroad” and “A bias editor” are so fitting. Hahahaha! *dies laughing*

    Thanks, Jama. :o)

    Into the Wardrobe


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