Oulipost #11: UNIVOCALISM

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April 11, 2014

 

The Prompt: A univocalic text is one written with a single vowel. It is consequently a lipogram in all the other vowels. If he had been univocally minded, Hamlet might have exclaimed, “Be? Never be? Perplexed: seek the secret!” All words used must be sourced from your newspaper.

The Wikipedia entry on the form reads: A univocalic is a type of lipogrammatic constrained writing that uses only a single vowel, “A”, “E”, “I”, “O”, or “U”, and no others.

No mention of Y, interestingly, but in all fairness I’d probably use it even if the creators of the form carved “Thou shalt not use Y, for it is sometimes seen as a vowel!” in stone, because My alignment is Chaotic Good and we do our own thing, muahaha! the playbook says to add or remove constraints. If that makes mine a teensy-tiny bit bivocalic…well, I can live with that if it means getting to keep a line like “Can’t pray away my nasty ways;” and besides, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been a little bit bi-!



 

But I’ll Pass

 

Far and away, farm land–

Mark and Randy can’t marry.

Sad marys. Always a scandal,

and that’s bad, man. Bad

as a back tax, as a car crash.

 

Play my part? Many can.

Can’t pray away my nasty ways;

can’t grasp at flaws and say

Stand fast, start small. Laws pass,

Man adapts, that’s a fact!

 

…call that a plan?

Thanks…

 

Sources:

Ambrose, Jay. “Even left can’t ignore Obama’s power grab.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

AP. “Tech Tips: A guide to upgrading, using XP computer.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

AP. “Truck in deadly California crash slammed into charter bus.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Becker, Steven. “Collaboration is key to success of medical education center.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Black, Pat. “Political parties need to produce some new candidates.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Editorial. “London researchers illustrate potential of stem cell therapies.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Goldberg, Jonah. “GOP forced to pick between principles.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Humphries, Jackie. “Hypocritical decisions show McConnell’s time has passed.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Osborne, Jerry. “MR. MUSIC: Wrongheaded policy of banning cover records was soon reversed.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.

Williams, Justin. “Amazon Firebox tries to separate itself from the pack.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 11 April 2014.



 

Process: I copied and pasted the bodies of online articles into the Univocalism scipt on Doug’s Ouliposcripts page, then copied that over into an open Word document, where I kept an eye out for words unique to each article.  They all got copied/pasted onto SortMyList.com so I could have them in a nice, neat order–a little toolbox of possible words. Then the fun began! I used the words from the articles as-is…that is to say, I allowed myself to use “that’s” because it appeared in its contraction form in an article. The punctuation is my own, as are the italics and bolding. We have to take our creative licenses where we can fiddle them in!

 

Read how other Ouliposters tackled this prompt here.

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4 Comments

Filed under Oulipost, Poetry

4 responses to “Oulipost #11: UNIVOCALISM

  1. Thanks for checking out my marriage poem 🙂 I love yours! It flows very well and has a great rhythm. Good one!

  2. “Sad marys. Always a scandal,/ and that’s bad, man. Bad” – Love it! Although, ain’t it the truth…. Good poem, Jody; as always! 🙂

  3. Oh, yes. The last two lines, fabulous. The voice of the speaker through the whole, as it shifts, allows me to hear him clearly.

  4. Now I wish I had allowed myself more Ys…. Great piece, it would be easy to miss the constraint, out of context.

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