amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oulipost #24: Homosyntaxism

That bird sang some melodious songs in the nest.
The nest loathed the corny songs of the bird.
Those songs muted the silly tunes in the nest.

This jar contains many usable pennies in a pinch.
These pennies rusted the old jar with their green.
The pinch desired a mean stinginess from the pennies.

These aliens speak an indecipherable tongue to my ears.
These ears hear a cacophonous bafflegab from the aliens.
This tongue savours the odd words of the aliens.

These frankfurters poisoned my great aunt at the fair.
This aunt is known as a picky eater from way back.
This fair provides numerous options for picky eaters.

This aspic shook the cracked bowl on the table.
This bowl remains the last resort except for aspic.
This table witnesses many aspic incidents every year.

Those pennyloafers were the cat’s meow in my day.
These cats refuse regular attempts at shoe enforcement .
This day prefers the cat’s pajamas at any time.

That parrot imitated the cursing pirates on the ship.
Those pirates hated the cursing parrot on the ship.
That ship spilled cursing pirates and parrots  into the sea.


Robin, Laura. “Found A Kit For Chocolate Connoisseurs.” the Ottawa Citizen. 24 April 2014. D2.


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.


Here is the sentence I chose:

“This kit provides a chocolate-tasting party in a box.”

here is my syntactic breakdown:

Demonstrative adjective/ noun/ verb/ determiner /adjective/ noun/ preposition/ article/ noun.

I chose to interpret determiner as any type of modifier.

This was fun, once I decided to play with the various nouns in each invented sentence, & more challenging than I expected. I broke the rules slightly for the cursing pirates…but that is to be expected…they are pirates after all.

Check out my fellow Ouliposters’ work here.


Anonymous said...

Yes! Your structure and the repetition reminds me of Adrienne Rich's 'Bears' just to look at. Great choice of sentence.

Amanda Earl said...

thanks, Margo. i'll have to take a look at "Bears."