amongst books

amongst books

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Oulipost #9: HEADLINES

toast! biggest loser
stripped of dignity?

family wants answers
mom jailed over massage scheme

ottawans think pink
time to get to work

maybe they messed up her order?
racist barbie speaks up

sweat the small stuff
diamonds over gridirons

pervy come-on or movie hoax? you decide.
born to be a viking

out of their misery
what a mess!

master of his own destiny
seniors moment

end of the line
underachievers abound

it’s all about the tulips
the politics of fear

fuddle-duddle the middle-muddle
on a cold april day


Headlines from the Ottawa Citizen & the Ottawa Sun


Compose a poem whose body is sourced from article headlines in your newspaper.


I wanted to make use of both Ottawa papers for this exercise because I knew the Ottawa Sun, which is a tabloid-style paper with a tendency to be bombastic, would yield colourful results.  But the Ottawa Citizen netted me the last two couplets, so how could I resist?


This challenge is based on Jean Queval’s Cent Ons, a collection of 100 magazine & newspaper headlines organized into five poems of twenty lines each. Like many oulipians, Queval was a prolific & versatile writer, critic & translator. I’m fascinated by his sense of play & experimentation. He wrote a sentence, which he claimed was the longest without punctuation marks. He played with the form of the novel & the sonnet.
As usual I'm getting my info from the fabulously thorough Oulipo Comendium.

READ my fellow Ouliposters’ poems here


Trish Hopkinson said...

Love those last two lines! Can't wait to start into this one.

Marvel said...

Fantastic from beginning to end.

Amanda Earl said...


Greg Santos said...

What a fun read!

dania said...

I like the tulips matching with the fear.

Amanda Earl said...

thanks, Greg. & Dania...tulips are scaaary ;)