Friday, September 17, 2021

Words Live Inside of Words


Make Your Own License
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Every piece of writing has a story, and I love finding out why you write about what you write about and why you write about it in a certain way. The journeys are often surprising and roundabout, and these stories show how we each approach ideas in our own way. This is what makes the world neat!

Today's poem has a story too. Yesterday, I visited the blog Dare to Care, and in her post, Denise explained a new-to-me type of poem called an In One Word poem. Denise shared her own poem, and she referred readers to a blog post by April Halprin Wayland over at Teaching Authors.

Here is how April explains this form, in her May 22, 2020 post:

I wanted to try this out myself. What fun, to find words in words and then just play with them like piles of stones! So I chose the word SILENCE and entered it into Word Maker. This website will show you all of the words that can be made with the letters in the word you choose. It looks like this:

(I will correct when it is back.)

I looked at the many words that can be made from SILENCE, and I copied the ones that interested me into my notebook.

Drafting from Words in SILENCE
Photo by Amy LV

Then, from those words...I just played around and finally decided on the arrangement of words above to be the poem.

Here you can see the SILENCE words that chose to include:

Circled Words from SILENCE
Photo by Amy LV

I was most fascinated by the fact that LICENSE is an anagram (word made by rearranging the letters of another word) for SILENCE. That fascination formed the basis of today's whole poem. I mean, I really DO want a Silence License. 

Wordmaker is a very interesting site, and once it's back up again, I look forward to visiting it again. But of course, as April said, we can find words within words ourselves as well.

If you do not yet keep a collection of favorite words in your notebook, you might wish to start. Then, one day when you're not sure what to write about, you can choose one and see what grows from it.

Denise is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Dare to Care with her post-inspiring In One Word poem inspired by the word TESTITUDINATE and also by April Halprind Wayland. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.


  1. Amy, what a treasure. You really made this intricate post so quickly. I have enjoyed watching the details of the process. Lovely poem. I love creating a license for what we need. "to carve a small slice / of no thoughts..." Yes, we all need that sometimes. Thank you for sharing. I'm so happy to know I had a hand in your inspiration.

  2. Love! A silence license is a great idea. Sometimes I want a license NOT to have an opinion on something, especially if it's something I haven't had a chance to think about yet.

  3. Thanks Amy! A Silence License is something I sometimes need to have. I believe in speaking up, but sometimes it’s best to be quiet and listen. I want to try this form for myself, too.

  4. Great insight, the right to remain silent! The process of the poem is also interesting, and you teach it so well! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you, Amy. I always learn so much from you sharing your process.

  6. I love this idea! Everyone should have a Silence Licence. I loved seeing the creative process behind your poem. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Amy, what a delightful post. I love your silence license and these lines in stanza 4.

  8. I loved the poem, but I loved it even more after I knew it was an In One Word poem and that Silence and License are anagrams!