Category Archives: melting snowball

Oulipost #28: Melting Snowball



circumstances other-

worldly engineering

California tunneling

troubled complex

series shows that

was an I



dog construction

delicately ram-

shackle certainly

shouting against

scores tough with

and in A


Poems were constructed from numerous articles in the  Seattle Times 28 April 2014. A1 Print.

Note on composition and process:

These two poems  are experiments with Oulipean Melting Snowballs, which are the obverse of the snowball poems in which each line/word is 1-character longer that the preceding word. In this form you start with the longest word, and work back to a single letter. Be sure to check out other Ouliposter’s take on the Melting snowball poem at the Found Poetry Review blog.

These are pretty easy. This time I worked directly from the print edition, because it can be nice to not stare at a computer screen and contribute to carpal tunnel. I focused solely on the front page. Since longer words aren’t as prevalent as “I” or “A,” I figured I have to do this a little less procedurally than the snowballs I did back on the 10th. I began by looking for the longest word (it was “responsibility” clocking in at 15 letters). I cataloged all the 10,11,12,13, and 14-letter words as a start, began putting the poems together. Then I went back and noted all the 7, 8, and 9-letter words, and filled in more of the poems. By the time I got to 6-letter words, the rest of the poems just started jumping out at me. I opted against presenting these as one-word lines, because it looks pretty awful in the WordPress format. I think it’d be interesting to see how many varied-length melting snowballs could be made from each page, but that’s what the summer is for.