1,143,839,622,748,050,000,000,000,000

Sonnet AnagramsMike Keith

The two poems above each have the form of a classical English sonnet with fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and a rhyme scheme of

abab cdcd efef gg.In addition, these sonnets areanagrams: each one can be formed by rearranging the letters in the other one. Every time you click the button above (or reload this page) you will see a different pair of mutually-anagrammatic sonnets - one of a grand total of about one octillion (10^{27}) available.This is made possible by having, behind the scenes, a text consisting of 14 sets of 10 lines of iambic pentameter. For each number

n(from 1 through 14), we choose two different lines (say A and B) from setnthen assign line A to thenth linein the left sonnet and line B to thenth linein the right sonnet. The resulting poems always have reasonable grammar and sense, as a result of the way the lines are worded; in addition, the fact that the sets as a whole obey the sonnet rhyme scheme (all lines in set 1 rhyme with all lines in set 3, and so on) ensure that the sonnets rhyme properly. Finally, the two poems are always anagrams because of this fact: all 10 lines in each of the 14 sets are anagrams of each other.It is easy to show that

If there are n sets of k mutually-anagrammatic lines and we form two poems using this procedure then a total of½ (

k(k-1))^{n }different full-poem anagrams can be produced.

Here we have

n=14 andk=10, so the number of anagrams is 90^{14}÷ 2 = 1,143,839,622,748,050,000,000,000,000.