Category Archives: Epithalamium

Oulipost #13: EPITHALAMIUM

 Vispo Epithalamiums for Ryo & Kanae Tsujinami
Java Printing
Java Printing
Java Printing

Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 13 April 2014 Print Replica.

Note on composition and process:

These visual poems are a vispo variation on the Oulipean take on the traditional Epithalamium, or wedding poem. Much like the beau present, the Oulipean Epithalamium uses only the letters of the seed text — the names of the bride and groom –to compose the poem. The Found Poetry Review added another twist, to find the names of the bride and groom in the local paper and to try to use words found in the paper for April 13, 2014 (read the prompt and other Ouliposters’ attempts at the form on the FPR blog).

The prompt had asked us to use the wedding announcements in our local paper to source our bride and groom. This turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined. Not only do the wedding announcements in my local paper — The Seattle Times — only appear once a month (the first Saturday of the month), but because (I’m assuming here) it costs a small fortune to publish a wedding announcement, there have only been 3 in the last 6 months. And it took a fair amount of search engine savvy just to figure that out. Eventually I found the web portal for “joyous occasions” announcements, and decided to dedicate my Epithalamiums  to Ryo & Kanae Tsujinami, who were married in Japan in February.

I then, did my usual text extraction from the Seattle Times print replica, and ran various chunks of the text through Doug Luman’s Ouliposcripts, using the “beau present” tool, since these epithalamium are pretty much another form of a beau present. Finally I took the text results and ran them through Wordle, a web-based word cloud generator to get the final pieces. The texts above represent different chunks of the larger text. The first comes from focusing solely on the front page  of the paper, the second uses the entire text of the paper, and the third uses only the text from the “A” section of the paper.

This strikes me as a fun form. I might try working this out a bit more next month, going page by page to see what sticks.