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Oulipoem 20: April 20 — Lescurean Permutations

20 Apr

The prompt:

Select a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article as your source text.

Plain Permutation: Switch the first noun with the second noun, the third noun with the fourth noun, and so on until you’ve reached the end of your text.

Alternate Permutation: The 1st noun changes place with the 3rd, the 2nd with the 4th, etc.

Bracketed Permutation: The 1st noun changes place with the 4th, the 2nd with the 3rd, etc.

Roussellian Permutation: The 1st noun changes place with the last, the 2nd with the next to last, etc.

I tried each but, for my passage, the plain works best. The passage I chose is part of an essay on Dante’s Divine Comedy as self-help book [Dreher makes an interesting case]. To see what others have done be sure to check in my comments, as well as the Found Poetry Review‘s page.

The original passage [with minor deletions]:

On the evening of Good Friday, a man on the run from a death sentence wakes up in a dark forest, lost, terrified and besieged by wild animals. He spends an infernal Easter week hiking through a dismal cave, climbing up a grueling mountain, and taking what you might call the long way home.
It all works out for him, though. The traveler returns from his ordeal a better man, determined to help others learn from his experience. He writes a book about his to hell and back trek…
…..In a letter… the poet said that the goal of his trilogy… is “to remove those living in this life from the state of misery and lead them to the state of bliss”.
The Comedy does this by inviting the reader to reflect on his own failings, showing him how to fix things and regain a sense of direction, and ultimately how to live in love and harmony with God and others.
This glorious medieval cathedral in verse arose from the rubble of Dante’s life.

The poem:

On the Friday of good evening
a death sentence on the run from man
wakes up in a dark animal

lost, terrified, and besieged by the wild forest.
He spends an infernal Easter cave hiking
through a dismal week, climbing up a grueling

long way home and taking what you might call
the mountain. The ordeal returns from his traveler
a better other. Determined to help man learn

from his book, he writes an experience
about his to hell and back trek. In a poet,
a letter said, the trilogy of his goal

is to remove those living in this misery
from the state of life and lead them
to the state of bliss. The reader does this

by inviting the comedy to reflect on his own
things, showing him how to fix failings
and regain a sense of love and ultimately

how to live in direction and with God, harmony
and others. This glorious medieval verse in cathedral
arose from the life of Dante’s rubble.

The source:

Dreher, Ron. ‘Dante’s Path to Paradise.’ Review Section. Wall Street Journal 20 April 2014

 
13 Comments

Posted by on 20/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry, writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “Oulipoem 20: April 20 — Lescurean Permutations

  1. quillfyre

    20/04/2014 at 12:01 pm

    Love it, Margo! Great poem, and great source material too!

     
    • margo roby

      20/04/2014 at 12:04 pm

      Hullo! We are cross-visiting. Thanks, Carol!

       
  2. Misky

    20/04/2014 at 12:11 pm

     
  3. b_young

    20/04/2014 at 4:33 pm

    Shockingly good. (Okay, I had very low expectations. But this turned out to be poetry, so, yeah)

     
    • margo roby

      20/04/2014 at 4:59 pm

      You have to have heard my laugh. I acquired a lot of oxygen. Like many prompts that depend on other’s words, a whole lot depends on the material. I was lucky.

       
  4. james w. moore

    20/04/2014 at 10:44 pm

    very nice – love the format, love the pacing – and love the last line – very nice (again).

     
    • margo roby

      21/04/2014 at 7:20 am

      That last line might find its way into the final cento. Thank you, james.

       
  5. whimsygizmo

    20/04/2014 at 11:19 pm

    Yours is making way too much sense! I love that last line, especially. :)
    I’m here:

    http://whimsygizmo.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/green-fairy-provokes-the-sun/

     
    • margo roby

      21/04/2014 at 7:21 am

      Luck, I assure you and yes, that last line!

       

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