Oulipoem 2: April 2 — Lipogram

02 Apr

Oulipo 2 The prompt:

‘A lipogram is a text that excludes one or more letters of the alphabet. The ingenuity demanded by the restriction varies in proportion to the frequency of the letter or letters excluded. For this initial exercise, you will compose a poem using only words that can be formed from letters that are NOT found in the title of your newspaper. For example, if you are working with the Washington Post, you must avoid using words that contain the letters A, G, H, I, N, O, P, S, T and W.’

Sound daunting? I thought so, but what it is, is an insistence on thinking creatively, something I tell myself I can’t do well, therefore why try. Being part of a challenge, I have to try and after the initial cries of despair with this prompt, I had a ball.

The source:

My source newspapers are the San Francisco Chronicle or the Wall Street Journal depending where I am. The first leaves me with the vowel ‘u,’ the second with the vowel ‘i’. I decided to stick with the Chronicle and took my words from the comics, the crossword, and the horoscope.

The poem:




Posted by on 02/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry


Tags: , , , ,

33 responses to “Oulipoem 2: April 2 — Lipogram

  1. Hannah Gosselin

    02/04/2014 at 2:11 pm

    :)!! Ha…I like what you came up with, Margo, the increasing text size is super energetic…befitting of the poem.

  2. Joshua Ganyon

    02/04/2014 at 2:14 pm

    I agree with Hannah- very energetic. Now I see why the source formatting was an issue!

  3. Misky

    02/04/2014 at 2:38 pm

    Clever girl! I can’t believe that you consider yourself low on the creativity meter. This piece proves you wrong!


    • margo roby

      02/04/2014 at 2:46 pm

      Misk, maybe better put if I say low on taking chances or letting my brain go there. I won’t have a choice this month, which I love. Well, except for the sonnet and the sestina…

  4. whimsygizmo

    02/04/2014 at 2:50 pm

    Graphics and gleeful repetition (you rebel) make this a whole lot of fun!

    Speaking of rebels, I’m still playing. I chose the Las Vegas Sun. (So you can imagine the word wrestling.) 😉

    • margo roby

      02/04/2014 at 2:56 pm

      You want wrestling, heh heh heh, wait ’til you see tomorrow’s prompt.

      • whimsygizmo

        02/04/2014 at 7:34 pm

        Tiny hint? Thursdays are CRAZY for me…

        • margo roby

          02/04/2014 at 8:01 pm

          de, pick a phrase. For each word in the phrase, replace it with its definition. You might want a short phrase! You should like this one. Line break possibilities will be key. Articles don’t have to be replaced.

          • whimsygizmo

            02/04/2014 at 10:03 pm

            Ooooo. Thanks for the heads up. 😉

  5. Carol Carlisle

    02/04/2014 at 3:06 pm

    cries of despair, thanks for wording how I feel quite often. I agree with Misky, clever girl!
    Another writing from my news paper. Try the cryptoquiz above the Jumble for fun with letters.
    I went poetry bombing yesterday and put up my poem on the poet-tree.

    • margo roby

      02/04/2014 at 4:18 pm

      I shall head for the cryptoquiz from here, after I look at the results of your adding a flower to the poet-tree.


      03/04/2014 at 4:44 am

      Well done, Carol. I was hoping you’d do that.

  6. Nancy Chen Long

    02/04/2014 at 4:57 pm

    Great creativity in your poem!

    • margo roby

      02/04/2014 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you, Nancy. If you are visiting yours must be up! I’ll be over shortly.

  7. sonjajohanson10

    02/04/2014 at 7:16 pm

    Margo, it’s fantastic! How fun!

    • margo roby

      02/04/2014 at 7:21 pm

      Sonja, I had a lot more fun than I expected! I’m lining up my dictionaries for tomorrow.

  8. Martin Elwell (@MartyElwell)

    02/04/2014 at 9:36 pm

    Concrete poetry and Lipograms go well together. Nice job, Margo!

  9. seingraham

    02/04/2014 at 9:57 pm

    Too fun Margo…I love the juxtaposition of the size of words and space…nicely done.

  10. b_young

    02/04/2014 at 10:22 pm

    Ah. What a sane response. I should have tried. The Tennessean doesn’t rob you of that many letters. Rotten paper, though. Like having the Cliff notes to the news.

    • margo roby

      03/04/2014 at 1:06 am

      Cliff notes to the news might make several of the exercises easier to work with. I really enjoyed this. There may be oulipos in our future.

  11. kaykuala

    03/04/2014 at 12:55 am

    It really makes one move and jump. Good one Margo!



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