Oulipoem 24: April 24 — Homosyntaxism

24 Apr

I am using a recording app on my phone to read notes into. I knew it wouldn’t have homosyntaxism, but I was curious, so I spoke. It responded with: ‘almost in taxes’.

Be sure to check out some of the other posters, both in my comments below and at the FPR.

The prompt:

Homosyntaxism is a method of translation that preserves only the syntactic order of the original words. To give a rudimentary example, if N=noun, V=verb and A=adjective, the outline NVA could yield solutions such as “The day turned cold,” “Violets are blue,” “An Oulipian! Be wary!”)

Option 1: Choose a sentence from your newspaper source text and write as many homosyntaxisms as possible based on that same variation.

Option 2: Complete a homosyntaxism of an entire paragraph or article found in your text.

I, in my restless sleeping, had an epiphany. Of course, this is just a copy change, but with prose. For those who have never done one, it’s like a giant mad lib. Take out the nouns, verbs, adjectives and some adverbs, noting which are where. Leave a structural framework. When I did this exercise with poems, I left words like when, but, and, anything that was not major in meaning but helped me see the structure.

With this, you can try that with a bunch of short sentences, or find a short passage you like, put in line breaks, then replace words and tinker. After much casting about, I elected Option 1. I was helped in my decision when I read Mildred’s. She chose a VERY short sentence. Thus I was inspired.

The poem:

I am trying
I am looking
I am calling
I am searching
I am hoping
I am missing
I am seeking
I am leaving
I am passing

I am dying

The source:

I went for the Classifieds in the end. My source sentence was: I am searching.


Posted by on 24/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry


Tags: , , , , , ,

15 responses to “Oulipoem 24: April 24 — Homosyntaxism

  1. barbcrary

    24/04/2014 at 12:59 pm

    Inspirational, Margo! My saving grace is that my article contains words such as “kickass,” “bitch” and “Virgin.” Just sayin’

    • margo roby

      24/04/2014 at 1:03 pm

      I am so jealous! You can do a conversation poem.

  2. lylannemusselman

    24/04/2014 at 1:02 pm

    Nice. And simple. Sometimes those are the best ones. I like it a lot, Margo.

    • margo roby

      24/04/2014 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Lylanne (such a pretty name).

  3. mildred achoch

    24/04/2014 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful and moving!

    • margo roby

      24/04/2014 at 2:44 pm

      Could not have started it without you, Mildred!

  4. Nicole

    24/04/2014 at 1:47 pm

    This is brilliant!! Such a creative and inspiring idea. It also lowered my stress level about this prompt.

  5. whimsygizmo

    24/04/2014 at 3:22 pm

    Skeletal mastery once again, Margo. Wonderful.

    I’m here:

    • margo roby

      24/04/2014 at 3:25 pm

      I’m getting good at skeletal!

  6. glittergirl59

    24/04/2014 at 7:31 pm

    This gives me license to do a short haiku-ish something or other. I was stumped all day. Brilliant!

  7. nwian

    25/04/2014 at 7:29 pm

    • margo roby

      26/04/2014 at 10:06 am

      Grin. i love that I get to read them now!


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