Oulipoem 28: April 28 — Melting Snowball

28 Apr

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of April, with only two prompts to go. Be sure and head over to the FPR to see how others have melted their snowballs, and check later in the comments below.

The prompt:

A form ‘in which each word has one letter less than the preceding one, and the last word only one letter. From your newspaper, select a starting word, and then continue adding words of decreasing length from the same source article or passage. Challenge yourself further by only using words in order as you encounter them in the text.’

The Monday WSJ is not ideal for anything other than straightforward articles, something that does not inspire me unless it involves a natural disaster [isn’t the creative brain a strange animal]. As I was about to cast the newspaper aside in despair and head for the computer, my eye was caught by a green square in the lower right corner of the front page and the words ‘Grow Old With’. I stopped to look. The green square was an ad. It was full of words of all lengths. I pulled my notepad towards me.

The poem:

Capture snowball

The source:

Advertisement for Ameritrade The Wall Street Journal 28 April 2014



Posted by on 28/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poetry


17 responses to “Oulipoem 28: April 28 — Melting Snowball

  1. barbcrary

    28/04/2014 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for adding the process. Can you imagine if we did this with everything? Great result, Margo.

    • margo roby

      28/04/2014 at 11:27 am

      Hah! I am on your blog as I read this.

      I’m thinking life runs rather like my process. Aiee!

      Thanks, Barbara. Two to go. I have started collecting lines.

    • sonjajohanson10

      28/04/2014 at 12:56 pm

      No one would want to see mine if we did everything this way – i’ve ripped through an entire spiral bound notebook this month!

      • margo roby

        28/04/2014 at 2:38 pm

        It’s all those lists we keep having to make!

  2. Misky

    28/04/2014 at 11:37 am

    Nifty process. I’m going to try this later.


    • margo roby

      28/04/2014 at 11:48 am

      It was a lot of fun, Misky. I won’t tell you how long it took me to find the strike-through.

  3. sonjajohanson10

    28/04/2014 at 12:55 pm Love the strike out. The poem would be fantatsic without it, but I like the way it gives a sense of the speaker mulling over throughts, considering and rejection the words in order to find ideal self-expression.

    • margo roby

      28/04/2014 at 2:38 pm

      You can read my poems all the time, Sonja. You always nail my intent!

    • whimsygizmo

      28/04/2014 at 5:08 pm

      YES to this. This is exactly what I was thinking. As I cast off words for my own, choosing others, waving them a sad goodbye, I thought how cool it would be to be able to include all. GENIUS idea, ma’am. Love it.

      I’m here:

      • margo roby

        28/04/2014 at 5:12 pm

        Oh, pshaw! You’re too kind. ( what do you suppose pshaw is truncated from?).

  4. Elizabeth Evans

    28/04/2014 at 5:12 pm

    Love the crossouts– a creative presentation.

    • margo roby

      28/04/2014 at 5:14 pm

      Elizabeth! Good to see your smiling eyes. I enjoyed being able to leave the words in.

  5. james w. moore

    28/04/2014 at 6:15 pm

    very nice – i love to see the paths your poem might have taken. a fun way to open it up via shutting options down. well done.

    • margo roby

      28/04/2014 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you, james. I like the way you put that. My thought was: Hey! This way I can leave stuff in.


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