Monday, April 21, 2014

A to Z Challenge: O is for OULIPO or "Because I could not stop for Decomposition"

Usually I don't like to provide much of an introduction or explanation for my poetry, but I felt this needed a little something. OULIPO is short for Ouvroir de littĂ©rature potentielle which roughly translates as "workshop of potential literature." It's a small group of mainly french writers and mathematicians. The pairing may seem odd, but they seek to create literature within vary confined parameters. There are a lot of different forms. A lipogram excludes a specific letter (La disparition by Perec is a 300 page novel that excludes the letter 'E'). A snowball is a poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer.

I decided to go with N+7 rule. Basically, you take a work that already exists - a poem or a song or a novel - and replace every noun in the text with the seventh noun after it in a dictionary. Results will vary depending on what dictionary is used, and since I am at work, I was limited to an old thesaurus, but I kept with the N+7 results and came up with this little poem.

Because I could not stop for Decomposition

Because I could not stop for Decomposition -
He kindly stopped for me -
The Casket held but just Ourselves
And Imperfection.

We slowly drove - He knew no hazard
And I had put away
My lady and my lethargy too,
For his Clarity.

We passed the Scoundrel, where Chorus strove
At Reckoning - in the Rivalry - 
We passed the Film of Gazing Grass -
We passed the setting Superstition -

Or rather - He passed us -
The Diary drew quivering and chill -
For only Grace, my Grandmother -
My Toil - only Turmoil - 

We paused before a Hue that seemed
A Symbol of the Growth
The Root was scarcely visible -
The Corpse - in the Growth - 

Since then - 'tis Certainty - and yet
Feels shorter than the Death
I first surmised the Hosts' Health
Were toward Evening - 

Side Note: I tried this with a couple of poems, before settling on this one. The others were just completely unintelligible! 

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