Sadism–an OULIPOS N = 7


 

Image: seattletimes.com

Image: seattletimes.com

Written for my prompt for dVerse Meeting the Bar. The OULIPOS is a blend of math and poetry. In this case, I’ve written an “N + 7” in which you take an existing poem and substitute every important noun with a noun 7 degrees removed in a dictionary. For me, the result is a bit absurd. Beyond experimental.

Here is the original poem, already experimental, using random words:

Sacraments

Purple petals dance

with solemn passion,

swirl in a breeze

filled with promise.

 

Sacred fireflies

shine in the wild night,

reach into the doleful void

to dazzle.

 

A dead leaf swirls in

the center of a whirling

torrent, disappears

down the storm drain.

 

Earth convulses while

blizzards howl,

morphs in an empty afternoon

beneath hoary skies .

 

Sursum corda.

 

And here it is, rendered using the N + 7 formula.

Sadism

N + 7 OULIPOS

Purple petrols dance
with solemn pastels,
swirl in a briar
filled with punctuation.

Sacred firewood
shines in the wild nightingale,
reach into the doleful voltage
to dazzle.

Dead leather swirls in
the centurion of a whirling
tortoise, disappears
down the storm draper.

Easter convulses while
blood howls,
morphs in an empty ageism
beneath hoary skylights .

Sursum corda.

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18 thoughts on “Sadism–an OULIPOS N = 7

  1. This was a cool poem. I like the journey it took with words that didn’t but almost did fit. It was very deconstructive.

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  2. humbird says:

    Love this experiment, Victoria. It helps us to stretch the imagination. Second whimsical poem – really interesting with visual images and movement
    ‘Dead leather swirls in
    the centurion of a whirling
    tortoise, disappears
    down the storm draper.’ ~ Thanks for distraction in my world. :)x

    Like

  3. rmp says:

    The original piece was a lovely. The form is quite interesting. I think you ended up with a couple of nice combinations.

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  4. MarinaSofia says:

    I like that solemn pastel, doleful voltage and the empty ageism. Somehow, it all makes sense…

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  5. rosross says:

    Clever you. I could not get my head around the N+7 but then I was absolutely hopeless at arithmetic and maths at school. Interestingly I grew up with a fascination with number as a language of this material world and as symbol.

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  6. Habemus ad dominum. I applaud your patience and ingenuity, but it’s not an experiment I shall follow!

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  7. ds says:

    Interesting how close sacrament comes to sadism…the whirling tortoise got me, and the wild nightingale reaching into the doleful voltage (I can almost hear it sizzle). Great stuff, and a great prompt. Thank you.

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  8. Sumana Roy says:

    along with the last stanza “Sacred firewood / shines in the wild nightingale,” these lines dazzle too…

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  9. Raivenne says:

    Easter convulses while
    blood howls,
    morphs in an empty ageism
    beneath hoary skylights .

    I am transfixed by how well this last stanza turned out. As it ages, Easter, at least it religious aspect of seems to loose more and more of itself to the pastels of the secular interpretation. The reason for the season can refer to more than just Christmas time.

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  10. Truedessa says:

    These are fun to read..I may have to give this a whirl.

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  11. This was a fun prompt Victoria, how meaning can change and in some cases be enhanced.

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  12. Gabriella says:

    I had not imagined the absurd could make sense. ‘Easter convulses / while blood howls’ – this is a very powerful image actually.

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  13. brian miller says:

    well i think i will take petals over petrol any day…smiles….there is a cool motion in that opening stanza of the second…punctuation will get you every time as well…smiles…easter convulsing and blood howls…what a cool thing that happened there….

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  14. scillagrace says:

    The original is so well put together that the experiment is not too absurd. “Sacred firewood shines in the wild nightingale” is a gift from the blue.

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  15. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Finally a MTB that does not have us counting feet, meter, syllables, worrying about the artificiality of rhyme scheme. I adore this absurd formula form, like a marriage between found poetry & Flarf. like your lines /reach into the doleful voltage/to dazzle/.

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  16. Ah.. that whirling tortoise was quite an image.. almost like something out of mythology I think… your original poem was fantastic.. the first stanza was musical in both cases .. with the alliterations on p.

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  17. Mary says:

    This is well done, Victoria. It worked well the way you did it. A clever idea for a prompt.

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  18. claudia says:

    Purple petrols dance
    with solemn pastels,
    swirl in a briar
    filled with punctuation…. i just fell in love with the first stanza…smiles.. i really like the unexpected that the form creates… sometimes funny, sometimes strange and always a bit off-beat… i like…

    Like

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