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Sunday Scribblings #149: Juggling Words is Wonderful Wordplay with the Vocabularyclept

This week brings with it a fun celebration – it is World Juggling Day (apparently!) on the 17th of June. So, I decided to work with a form where we can juggle words around. And as I played with it, I realized that juggling words is fun and wonderful wordplay in itself.

Have you ever tried juggling? Not talking about the various aspects of life that we have to juggle around in general, but the actual physical act of juggling something – like apples, balls, oranges, rings, or something similar? Me, I tried to juggle two things once (i think it was apples which had fallen down in our backyard a long time ago).. and while two worked for about two seconds, that was it!

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Notepad and a pen over it with a cup of coffee next to it. words read Sunday Scribblings, and this is for Sunday Scribblings #96: Love All the Layers of Life

Poetic Sundays: Juggling Words With the Vocabularyclept

vocabularyclept poem is a poem is formed by rearranging the words of an existing poem. So the new poem is in effect an anagram of another poem (source: wikipedia page)

What is the Vocabularyclept?

This type of poetry was first proposed in 1969 by Word Ways editor Howard Bergerson who put all the words of his little-known 1944 poem “Winter Retrospect” in alphabetical order, and then challenged readers to arrange them all into a new poem. So, in effect, as mentioned earlier, this poem is a rearrangement of an existing poem. The new poem therefore has the same word count as the original poem. Just that the words have been juggled around a bit.

A Quick How To and What as Well

  • Pick any poem of your choice. Maybe it is your favorite poem, or one you wrote earlier and want to revisit, or simply a random pick
  • List out all the words in the poem in any order, alphabetical was the way Bergerson did it. You can use online tools like textconverter to do this (such tools help provide an alphabetical list of all the words in the provided text, and also remove duplicates if needed. But our poem needs to reuse all the words in the poem – use all the words; and no additional words.
  • Now use this list to write a new poem
  • Remember to credit the original poet/poem when you share your new poem

My Attempt at Juggling with the Vocabularyclept Poem

While this attempt is not far away from the original at all, and I do want to write another one that is truer to the spirit of this form, this one is also because I wanted to share a Father’s Day Poem before next week…

“Like My Dad” by Douglas Malloch
Lord, make me something like my dad;
Give me a little of his will,
That good old stubbornness he had
That helped him up the hardest hill,
content to wait and work and fight,
believe always he was right.

Here is my vocabularyclept version of Malloch’s poem (again, Like My Dad)
Lord, make me like my good old dad;
He was always content.
Give me a little something
Of that fight he had; his will to work
The hardest, and wait, and believe.
That Stubbornness helped him right up hill.

References and Further Reading


At Home and On My Blog

Home has been filled with just the regular stuff and the weather, like I mentioned has gone through a year of seasons this week already!! Now I am waiting to see what the coming week will bring.

On my blog this past week, I ended up with the posts below:


On My Blog & Homefront: No Juggling Though (Maybe a Little?)

I have a few posts in mind and hope they will all make it out to the world.

Juggling This Week’s Celebrations

The Literary and Close-to-it Celebrations

  • The birthdays this week… Anne Frank and Johanna Spyri on June 12th; Audrey Niffenegger and William Butler Yeats on the 13th of June; 14th of June celebrates Harriet Beecher Stowe; William Mcfee on June 15h; while June 16th is the birthday of Andy Weir, Erich Segal, and Joyce Carol Oates. And the 18th of June is to celebrate Chris Van Allsburg.

The Foodie Celebrations

The Other Celebrations

  • It is Peace Day and Superman Day on the 12th of June
  • followed by National Acts of Light Day on June 13th
  • The Scout slogan is ‘Do a Good Turn Daily’ and on the 14th of June, that good turn can be to donate blood. There is always a need for this valuable life saver, and even more so currently. June 14th happens to be World Blood Donor Day
  • June 15th has these two cool celebrations: National Smile Power Day and Nature Photography Day
  • The 16th of June has a unique celebration for sure… It is Bloomsday. Curious? You want a hint?! James Joyce!! Read more about it here 
  • And like I mentioned already, it is World Juggling Day on June 17th.
  • June 18th is to go ahead and splurge for it is, well, National Splurge Day
  • And of course, it is Father’s Day on Sunday

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, this was it for this post. As always, appreciate and totally welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on these scribblings on Sunday! And which of these days in this wonderful week do you plan to celebrate? And what about you, dear reader – what is the magic of memories for you?

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

9 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #149: Juggling Words is Wonderful Wordplay with the Vocabularyclept

  1. There seems to be a day for everything! I’ve been a task juggler my entire life! As old as I am, you’d think I’d have the hang of it by now! LOL!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about juggling words and the concept of Vocabularyclept poems. Your explanation and step-by-step guide were clear and engaging. It’s great to see your enthusiasm for wordplay and creativity. Keep up the fantastic work!

  3. Ha, I have tried juggling in the past. I was able to do 3 balls at one stage. I haven’t tried juggling words of a poem before, not sure if I’d be any good at it.

  4. This is truly a great and wonderful article to read! I’ve never tried juggling but it seems so much fun to try! Thanks for sharing this

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