Oulipoem 25: April 25 — Braiding (Larding)

25 Apr

The official title of the prompt is Larding which has interesting connotations, but Braiding, given to us by ouliposter Jody Rich, is so much prettier. I had a ball putting this together but then anything that smacks of remixing… My only problem, as I posted to our Facebook group, was finding a way to lay the work draft out so that I was able to see the places where I needed to add lard. I was using highlights as a code and going nuts, so when you take this on, my advice is to break after each sentence and triple space between, so you know where a new sentence needs to go.

To watch how one builds, head over to Amanda Earl’s and you can watch paragraph by paragraph. After I had my final paragraph, I chose to play with line-breaks. My sources were diverse [and became a mash-up of two newspapers]and while it may sound like I relied heavily on the horoscope, I used several phrases from the great lime crisis article. I didn’t know such passion was connected with limes.

To read what others have come up with wander over to the FPR’s page for today.

The prompt:

‘Aka “line stretching.” From your newspaper text, pick two sentences. Add a new sentence between the first two; then two sentences in the new intervals that have become available; and continue to add sentences until the passage has attained the length desired. The supplementary sentences must either enrich the existing narrative or create a new narrative continuity.’ Yes, all sentences from the newspaper.

Original sentences:

Never underestimate the power of imagination.  Stay true to your vision and the pieces will soon fall into place.

The poem:

the warfare between man and wife

Never underestimate the power of imagination: Imagine
being alone in a strange place with peculiar scents,
frightening noises, and no food, water or shelter. One minute
you’re cold and aloof and the next minute you’re distant
and unfriendly, cloudy with a chance of rain. Warnings are posted.

The last thing anyone needs is more finger pointing. You
weren’t sure these past few days, but you stood your ground.
The timing could hardly be worse. Don’t make it a guessing game.
Ask straight out. There’s such a thing as being in the right,
at the wrong time. A recent misstep, some signs of the times.

One might have a sense of abandonment. Overcast with a chance
of a thunderstorm and rain showers isn’t the end of the world.
Stay true to your vision — the pieces will fall into place.

The sources:

Alter, Alexandra. ‘The Warfare Between Man And Wife’ The Wall Street Journal Book Club 25 April 2014
Duffy, J.C. ‘The Fusco Brothers’ Comics The San Francisco Chronicle 25 April 2014
Jordan, Miriam and Jose DeCordoba. ‘Yes, We Have No Limes: Shortage Squeezes Bars, Eateries The Wall Street Journal  25 April 2014
Mitchell, Eileen. ‘Fellow homeless kitten becomes blind cat’s buddy, guide’ San Francisco Chronicle 25 April 2014
Renstrom, Christopher. Horoscope. San Francisco Chronicle 25 April 2014
San Francisco Chronicle Weather Report 25 April 2014


Posted by on 25/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poetry


Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 responses to “Oulipoem 25: April 25 — Braiding (Larding)

  1. barbcrary

    25/04/2014 at 11:30 am

    Love this one, Margo. I am lying low today on the off chance that I can produce something of quality if I given this the time it deserves and I don’t currently have. Brava to you!

    • margo roby

      25/04/2014 at 11:34 am

      My thanks, kind lady! Good luck. I’ll look towards evening [next morning?] for yours.

  2. julespaige

    25/04/2014 at 12:15 pm

    I think you can do this news paper prompting with magazines too.
    I might have to come and revisit some of these prompts when I don’t have grandchildren consuming my waking hours 🙂

    But speaking of braids, plaiting and new forms… and add in a word list…:

    • margo roby

      25/04/2014 at 1:32 pm

      I’m going to revisit several of them, Jules. I figure I’ll spend May going back and actually figuring out what we are all doing.

  3. marvelist

    25/04/2014 at 1:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Choose Your Own Adventure and commented:
    “One might have a sense of abandonment. Overcast with a chance
    of a thunderstorm and rain showers isn’t the end of the world.” Beautiful lines from Margo Roby.

    • margo roby

      25/04/2014 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you! I saw the reblog icon turn red!

  4. nwian

    25/04/2014 at 1:33 pm

  5. whimsygizmo

    26/04/2014 at 12:25 am

    The 3-dimensional world (pesky thing) pulls today, but I finally got my prompts all culled. Not sure I did this one entirely by the rules, but I kind of liked the way it all braided together.

  6. whimsygizmo

    26/04/2014 at 12:26 am

    Yours came together SO nicely, Margo. LoveloveLOVE the use of the weather report in there. Brilliant, really. Especially adoring:
    “One minute
    you’re cold and aloof and the next minute you’re distant
    and unfriendly, cloudy with a chance of rain. Warnings are posted.”


    • margo roby

      26/04/2014 at 10:00 am

      This was a lot of fun to do, de, and I want to try it with more than a newspaper as my source.

  7. Jeff

    01/05/2014 at 12:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Recent Items and commented:
    I love this explanation and example of larding. Constructing a new text by selecting sentences from other texts and inserting them between the gaps created in the new text allows for surprises. Not sure I get the title of the poem generated, but the structure of identifying a problem and then moving into an advisory tenor sounds as natural as if it had been thought up from scratch.

    • margo roby

      01/05/2014 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate the reblog and the comments. The exercise also works with unfinished poems, or drafts with which you’re not dissatisfied.

      I had to laugh. I had to go see what the heck I titled the poem, especially as I titled maybe three of the poems this month. I can see why there might appear a disconnect. One of the articles was a review of a book whose focus was ‘the warfare between man and wife’. Consider the context of a couple fighting and see if the words make more sense. I was thinking an objective outside voice talking with one of them, or what the two are thinking, or even saying to each other.

      • Jeff

        07/05/2014 at 2:35 pm

        Ah. I see it now in the hostile atmosphere and the advice on rightness. If you can extend the poem to book length then you’d probably have a new genre of self-help on your hands.


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