Squeezing a Poem

Have you ever seen the poetry book Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka?

Inside the front cover it says, “Play with your words! Part anagram, part rebus, part riddle – this brand new poetic form turns word puzzles into poetry. Using only the letters from a single word, each of the of poems in this collection capture a scene from daily life and present a puzzle to solve.”

Here is an example:ย flowers






I love these poems! They speak so eloquently with so few letters as choices to create an image with the words.

It is so much harder than it looks. I thought, I will anagram the word and have words to choose from to create my own. Not so simple, because I can use a letter as many times as I need it. So now I have to look at my letters and think about words in a different way. On this final Poetry Friday of the SOLC, I offer ย my attempts to squeeze a poem from a single word.


Some notes

come to


And one more try:


is it





it is.

20 thoughts on “Squeezing a Poem

  1. jee young says:

    This is awesome! I love the poems you created. I think I will introduce this form to my students when we start our poetry unit soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Paul says:

    The only thing more brilliant than the idea itself are your poems! Fantastic! Will have to try this one, myself and with kids. Thanks, Elsie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Seney says:

    Oh my the two you wrote were wonderful! I have my quickwrite for my college students on Tuesday…I can hear the groans and then the celebrations!

  4. ooh those are neat! I loved the two you came up with — so cute, especially the “writers” one! Looks really hard… maybe I’ll try one sometime though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What a fun idea! I’ve never seen this book but it is now on my list of “someday I need to buy…” books. I think this could be a fun making words lesson with my kindergarten kids. Make words and then use your words to make poetry! Thanks for the new form and ideas! I enjoyed your poems…the writing poem is pretty fun!

  6. I do have this book, Elsie-It is wonderful & I had such fun doing it with some older students last year. It’s hard! But worth it. I love both your poems, but especially number two, about writers! Thank you for a wonderful idea to share before April!

  7. These are hard to write at least I thought so when I tried. I wonder if people have had kids do them and to what success. Your second poem made me laugh. Both are clever.

  8. Tam says:

    How clever is this. I’m glad it’s Friday and poetry day. I’m on my way to work at a library book fair sale. There will words all around me. Thanks for another challenge.

  9. djts says:

    Oh, no! Oh, YES! I love, love, love, love…did I say love?…love these!!!
    Must try one immediately…no more reading posts. Hey, everyone, you can thank Elsie for this! I was going to read more, but I have to go now.
    Oh, and you wrote a couple fantastic ones! Splendid! And by the way splendid doesn’t work well for one, that I can figure anyway. Sip, did, end, pen, lip…nope.

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