ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Two Poems Created Using The Same Twenty Words

Updated on March 25, 2017

I’ve been intending to start writing poetry again. This has been one of those resolutions which often gets shoved aside, and last night I reached a point where I was willing to try almost anything—aside from, I suppose, joining a religious cult or eating raw eggs—to get me back in the practice of writing poems.

I decided that I should select twenty random words and then write two poems using only these words. While generally I like to encourage writers to embrace all manner of freedom when writing, I also recognize the importance of establishing clear parameters for what I am writing. Moreover, I knew that if I found this writing activity completely worthless, I would never do it again. Thankfully, I think this writing exercise has merit and is worth attempting. Naturally, you can change the variables and write three poems using thirty words or four poems using fifty words and so forth.


I recognize both poems I created using my twenty words are unexceptional. In fact, I don’t particularly like them. Yet I want to share them and the words I used in case this will inspire someone else to try this exercise.

Velvet fabric
Velvet fabric | Source
A Nebraska highway
A Nebraska highway | Source
A child singing
A child singing | Source

The twenty words I used in both poems are:

  1. Nebraska
  2. sanguine
  3. singing
  4. velvet
  5. motorcycle
  6. violet
  7. pancake
  8. highway
  9. undone
  10. between
  11. in
  12. and
  13. besides
  14. fumbling
  15. second
  16. first
  17. for
  18. his
  19. with
  20. maybe

The two poems:

Freedom (Or Close Enough)

Besides Nebraska highway and his

motorcycle between

sanguine fumbling singing

velvet first in for

pancake with second

undone violet maybe

Stalled Journey

With motorcycle in Nebraska

fumbling beside highway

velvet singing between his first

and second

undone maybe violet pancake

for sanguine


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Julie K Henderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for commenting. I agree that anything that stretches us as writers makes us better.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Very creative use of your words. It took a few times through each poem to discover how you were using each word, but I think I got the gist of the poems. I tried something slightly similar with a flash fiction story. Jodah (another hubber) suggested using the words of one full sentence from any book, then use each word to begin each sentence of a story. I think that was a little easier than what you have done here. Anything that stretches us makes us better.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)