amongst books

amongst books

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oulipost #15: Prisoner's Constraint

A Pronouncement on the Benefits of Science
By Racine

Science can
overcome concern
measure a new crown
raise minimum wins
mean increases
accuse America
uncover versions
marry rare commons
with air in music


McGreggor, Glen. “Robocall laws may be late for election.” The Ottawa Citizen. 15 April 2014. A1.
POSTMEDIA NEWS. “Hunger feeds aggression in married couples, study shows.” Ibid. A1.
Reevely, David. “The road premier to travel has its bumps, but …” Ibid A1
Brydenthe  Joan. CANADIAN PRESS. “Senate calls for Elections Act changes. Ibid A2
Brewster, Murray. THE CANADIAN PRESS. “Pending Cyclone deal would allow aging Sea Kings to finally be retired.”  Ibid. A2.
Mazey, Steven. “75 Butterflies.” Ibid C5

PROMPT: Prisoner’s Constraint

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,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.


For me the joy in these lipogramatic constraints is their ability to yield fanciful & odd notions. Here I let the poem take the form of a pronouncement on the benefits of science. Of course the claims are preposterous. This reminds me of the ludicrous claims on the benefits of various health products. The title is not from the newspaper, but the author's name comes from words in the paper. I was quite pleased to find Racine making pronouncements on science in the 21st Century.

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