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Oulipoem 20: April 20 — Lescurean Permutations

The prompt:

Select a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article as your source text.

Plain Permutation: Switch the first noun with the second noun, the third noun with the fourth noun, and so on until you’ve reached the end of your text.

Alternate Permutation: The 1st noun changes place with the 3rd, the 2nd with the 4th, etc.

Bracketed Permutation: The 1st noun changes place with the 4th, the 2nd with the 3rd, etc.

Roussellian Permutation: The 1st noun changes place with the last, the 2nd with the next to last, etc.

I tried each but, for my passage, the plain works best. The passage I chose is part of an essay on Dante’s Divine Comedy as self-help book [Dreher makes an interesting case]. To see what others have done be sure to check in my comments, as well as the Found Poetry Review‘s page.

The original passage [with minor deletions]:

On the evening of Good Friday, a man on the run from a death sentence wakes up in a dark forest, lost, terrified and besieged by wild animals. He spends an infernal Easter week hiking through a dismal cave, climbing up a grueling mountain, and taking what you might call the long way home.
It all works out for him, though. The traveler returns from his ordeal a better man, determined to help others learn from his experience. He writes a book about his to hell and back trek…
…..In a letter… the poet said that the goal of his trilogy… is “to remove those living in this life from the state of misery and lead them to the state of bliss”.
The Comedy does this by inviting the reader to reflect on his own failings, showing him how to fix things and regain a sense of direction, and ultimately how to live in love and harmony with God and others.
This glorious medieval cathedral in verse arose from the rubble of Dante’s life.

The poem:

On the Friday of good evening
a death sentence on the run from man
wakes up in a dark animal

lost, terrified, and besieged by the wild forest.
He spends an infernal Easter cave hiking
through a dismal week, climbing up a grueling

long way home and taking what you might call
the mountain. The ordeal returns from his traveler
a better other. Determined to help man learn

from his book, he writes an experience
about his to hell and back trek. In a poet,
a letter said, the trilogy of his goal

is to remove those living in this misery
from the state of life and lead them
to the state of bliss. The reader does this

by inviting the comedy to reflect on his own
things, showing him how to fix failings
and regain a sense of love and ultimately

how to live in direction and with God, harmony
and others. This glorious medieval verse in cathedral
arose from the life of Dante’s rubble.

The source:

Dreher, Ron. ‘Dante’s Path to Paradise.’ Review Section. Wall Street Journal 20 April 2014

 
13 Comments

Posted by on 20/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry, writing

 

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Oulipoem 16: April 16 — Chimera

This exercise was great fun to prep. I can see, using other sources, that this has possibilities for my particular armoury. Before we get to the prompt, the Editors and Staff of the Found Poetry Review have taken the time [God knows from where. I’m pretty sure they don’t even have time to breathe.] for a Halftime Report, where each of them have picked a few examples of what has been happening among the oulipoets. Should you have plenty of time on your hands [say during a commute, at the dentist, on a conference call] check out the main page for each day’s contribution. You’ll quickly identify a few poets to follow.

The prompt:

‘The chimera of Homeric legend – lion’s head, goat’s body, treacherous serpent’s tail – has a less forbidding Oulipian counterpart. It is engendered as follows. Having chosen a newspaper article or other text for treatment, remove its nouns, verbs and adjectives. Replace the nouns with those taken in order from a different work, the verbs with those from a second work, the adjectives with those from a third.’ I did so. The only thing I tweaked was to repeat ‘no matter’.

The poem:

Gather the actor of your artist
the unflappable ultra skills. No matter

where the sales yell the role, it does not
slip — important to shout for the actor —

which throws why the instructor slips here,
to refer to the job. No matter. Win

your upper problem and warn for years
of life’s degrees, even the fictitious focus.

The sources:

Main: an ad for the Lincoln Financial Group

Nouns: Shellenbarger, Sue. ‘Typecast at Work Actor Finds a New Role in a Tech Job’ Work & Family Wall Street Journal 16 April 2014

Verbs: Robinson, Joshua. ‘Liverpool is in control but can the Reds hang on’ Sports Wall Street Journal 16 April 2014

Adjectives: Fowler, Geoffrey A. ‘Cool Tube: Testing Out Ultra High Definition TV’ Home & Digital Wall Street Journal 16 April 2014

Now, go read some of the wonderful work coming from ouliposters. Then try your hand at an ouliprompt.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 16/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry, writing

 

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Oulipoem 15: April 15 — Prisoner’s Constraint

Yesterday’s lost poem has been found!

Today’s prompt:

“Imagine a prisoner whose supply of paper is restricted. To put it to fullest use, he will maximize his space by avoiding any letter extending above or below the line (b,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q,t and y) and use only a,c,e,i,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x and z. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from these letters AND which you source from your newspaper text.”

The process:

I love my Wall Street Journal but I may have to resort to online newspapering so I can continue to use the SF Chronicle. The Journal lacks too much of the odd stuff like the comics, horoscopes, classifieds… we’ll see. Today, I picked an article from the ‘Health & Wellness’ section of the WSJ. I copied down all words that fit the rules [I found I had to go back and double-check myself].

My added constraint: I had to use the words in the order I found them, except for the two letter words, which I inserted where they help sense. My satisfaction quotient: middlin’.

The poem:

crow
woman

is a

season,
causes
an
uncommon
cure

come
on
over —
we
can

remove
or
reverse
invasive
excess

area
one
is
rare
occasion

more
are
wearing
some
sun

sure
cream
in
severe
cases

woman
crow

The source:

Wall Street Journal. ‘Health & Wellness’ Quick Cures/Quack Cures: under eye bags. 15 April 2014

 
17 Comments

Posted by on 15/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry, writing

 

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