A Self-Portrait in Anagrams

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was QUITE the doozy, but it was so creative and fun.

Today I’d like you to think about words buried in words. In particular, think about the words buried in your own name. Plug your name into an anagram generator, like this one, and try writing a self-portrait poem using words that are generated.

Merriam-Webster defines anagrams as “a word or phrase made by transposing the letters of another word or phrase.” I actually took this literally and only used whole phrases that used each letter of my first and last name. Most of the phrases were nonsense, as you can imagine, but some painted interesting images. I also learned several new words in this process, which I’ll provide hyperlinks to (click on unfamiliar words in the poem and it will take you to a definition; it may not always be the first meaning, but there should be a clear choice of which makes most sense). I realized, with the collection of phrases I’d picked out, once I rearranged the lines, they almost told the story of my traumatic brain injury. In case you’re new to the blog, I will summarize: I was a passenger in a severe car accident and received a traumatic brain injury, which redirected and changed my life. I’ve felt blessed and guided to help others ever since, and the strength, courage, hope, and love I learned throughout the process have forever shaped me. The self-portrait poem below illustrates that journey from feeling lost in the beginning to blossoming at the end, to the best of my ability by using the exact phrases generated. I think I will tweak it in the future to read a little more easily, and I will provide a “translation” at the bottom. I have already used a strike-through in two cases of “oar” underneath, changing it to “or”–I figured this was allowable, since the two sound the same and are already almost spelled the same. 😉


Amanda Fowler: A Portrait in Anagrams
By: Amanda K. Fowler

A flared woman—
a modal fawner
fawned a moral.
Aroma-led fawn
fawn roamed lea.
RAM! Waned foal;
a dawn or flame?
Lamed fawn, oar
flawed man—oar–
loam-drawn fae.
Dawn: foal–>mare.
Damn fear alow!
Dare of law, man,
and formal awe—
and–am flower.


Thanks for bearing with me through that! Hopefully it made some semblance of sense. Just in case, I will provide an approximate line-by-line “translation” below:

A woman with strong emotion–
a fan of grammar and rules
showed affection to a moral idea.
A child led by atmosphere–
the child wandered.
RAM! [The car accident] diminished the child;
was it a beginning or an end?
Disabled child, or
flawed person–no–
a metaphysical person of peace, reshaped by earth.
Decidedly, it’s a beginning, a dawn: child to woman.
Banish fear below!
Dare rules, people,
and disbelief with courage–
and, I am a flower–I have blossomed.

One thought on “A Self-Portrait in Anagrams

  1. Yikes Amanda. I don’t know how you were able to come up with that one but it was quite the effort and indeed the translated version was much easier to read and appreciate!


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