How it Started

“I can deal a poem from a deck of cards”, I told my friends. We were sitting at the patio table. I had just explained that poetry didn’t have to be a mysterious process. It could be created systematically from randomly chosen words.

Jerry, who has a degree in ancient Arabic languages and hangs drywall for a living, was skeptical. Pat, a sanitation worker at the time, was curious. My wife Ana, who has two books of poetry published in her native Ecuador, was a bit shocked by the idea. But I persisted.

We used a deck of cards to deal out words chosen at random (by opening books and pointing). Following some simple rules we shaped our poems, each in our own style, and we were impressed with the results — at least each with his or her own poem. The poems were read without shame because you get the credit for the good ones while the cards get the blame for the stinkers. We all get dealt a bad hand at times.

The exercise was enjoyed by all, including my wife, who tried it in Spanish. We made it into a game, created a prototype, and discovered it’s difficult to break into the poetry-game market. Or is it that there the latter doesn’t exist?

In any case, try it. It really stimulates creative thought and helps us to write some interesting verses. In fact, as I write this my wife is sending out some poems to be published in an anthology. They were created with the help of Deal-A-Poem.

How Does Deal-a-Poem Work?

A minute to read the rules, and you’re writing poetry. When your mind focuses on a word with the intent to use it in a line, it is stimulated into action. This technique overcomes the worst writers-block. It also helps that the words on the game cards are evocative and metaphorically rich.

Published poetry has been produced using this game. It’s a lot of fun, but it is also just plain useful for those who write. Read the rules, and give it a try.


On the page, “Poems,” you’ll find a list of links to the poetry pages. There are poems that were created using Deal-A-Poem, in English and in Spanish, as well as links to other poems we like.

Want to Buy the Rights?

We have two prototypes, and have tested the game with a variety of players/poets. We’re not interested in trying to market the game ourselves, but would be willing to sell it outright, or even give it to anyone (for a percentage) that wants to market it.

Where is the market? Families, word-game players, schools, and of course, poets. Most people have written a poem sometime, and we have found that most enjoy writing poems with this game, even if they never read poetry. See the page “Deal-A-Poem : Why it Should Be Your Product,” if you are interested.

Write Poetry Now!

Want poems in minutes? Check out the page: Poetic Devices, plus Mechanical Poetry – Part OneMechanical Poetry – Part Two, and Mechanical Poetry – Part Three.

For more poems in Spanish, you can visit www. Literatura Ecuatoriana .info


New Types of Poetry

Poemas en Espanol

How to Write Poetry

22 Steps to Poetry – Freestyle