amongst books

amongst books

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oulipost # 12: the Sonnet

Oulipost #12: Sonnet

The man who wore green ties, the heartbleed bug
A sudden death, pervasive online world
Until we meet again, Heartbleed is down
The bond of trust was ordered to shut down
She called to check on it before it died
Believed to be affected, full of holes
It’s a massive hole; we still don’t know
Grocery lists, bad news and poetry
Become more common place--it’s hard to hide
Wrongdoing in the handling of complaints
The one who knows to stop from breaking down
Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood

Great adventure this, in even lower depths
We still don’t know.


Hurley, Meghan. “Flaherty sought Leitch’s help on day he died.” The Ottawa Citizen.  12 April 2014. A1.
Fekete, Jason. “State funeral planned for Flaherty.”  Ibid. A2.
Smith, Patrick. “Advocates for disabled laud finance minister’s support.” Ibid. A2.
Panetta, Alexander, THE CANADIAN PRESS. “Key world officials mourn Canada’s loss. Ibid. A2.
Press, Jordan. “Federal sites shut down over bug fear.” Ibid.  A3.
Pilieci, Vito. “Heartbleed is a wake-up call for our pervasive online world. “Ibid. A3.
May, Kathryn. “Integrity office gets its knuckles rapped.” Ibid.  A3.
Maher, Stephen. POSTMEDIA NEWS. “Flaherty knew that politicians risk more than most of us.” Ibid.  A4.
Brian Lee Crowley. “Flaherty listened, and acted on what he heard. Ibid. B7.


Write a sonnet sourced from lines found in newspaper articles. You may choose your own sonnet type (Examples here) and should feel free to be creative with the rules. One known Oulipo variation is “sonnets of variable length,” in which one must compose a sonnet in which the lines are either as short as possible or as long as possible. 


I wimped out on rhyme scheme. I would have needed days to rhyme in iambic pentameter from the newspaper. I think I got the turn ok though & the meter is mostly iambic pentameter…methinks. The fuckuppery of the last line is deliberate.  

I decided to combine the death of former Federal finance minister, Jim Flaherty with the coverage of the recent computer virus, Heartbleed. The idea of the pervasiveness of our online presence & the lack of discretion, coupled with our vulnerability & the vulnerability of the heart, of life itself, seemed to go together. I hope that it wasn’t disrespectful in any way. Credit goes to Teddy Roosevelt for the lines in italics.
I had to pass up some golden lines because I couldn’t fit them into the meter, in the form of an Irish blessing:

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, may the rain fall upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hands.”

Go to the Found Poetry Review to read sonnets by my fellow Ouliposters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with having an ear. Makes writing more difficult when the brain chimes: not iambic! So glad you did not attempt rhyme. This is intimidating enough in its workability.