Category Archives: univocalism

Oulipost #11: Univocalism

Plus |Week| End

The week




End                        Week

end            week                     end

weekly                 every

The     be          the

send   by

by          Week-

end            be                              entry

end           by

by   the  new




end best
bets the



by      NFL
event  the  week
end  best

Univocal Sonic Map



Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 10 April 2014 Print Replica.

Note on composition and process:

These poems were experiments with the Oulipean form of univocalism, which, similar to the tautogram, employs a focus on a single letter, in this case, a vowel.  In particular the idea is only to use words that do not contain the vowels excluded, such that a univocal “a” poem would not include any words with e’s, i’s, o’s, or u’s.  Be sure to check out the Found Poetry Review’s blog for the official prompt and links to read other fantastic poets’ responses.

As per my usual, I started with the print Replica of today’s Seattle Times, extracted all the text into Word, stripped the formatting, eliminated most punctuation, symbols and numerals, and separated the bulk according to the papers pagination. I then ran each page through Doug Luman’s Ouliposcript engine. He added a new setting for the univocalism exercise, so I simply assigned a vowel per section since there were five sections. Section A– Nation/World/Opinion, of course were the a’s; the local/regional news(section B), the i’s; the sports (section C), the o’s; the auto insert (section D), the u’s; and the Weekend Plus insert (section E), of course, the e’s. None of this took very long, and it produced little sonic maps of each page, some of which were somewhat poetic on their own, like the “Options” piece above.

I made the most headway on section E, since the repetition of “weekend” allowed for easy sequencing, so I posted those for now. I should be able to go back to these early next month and pull out a handful of gems from the rough text, so I’m pretty pleased with the output for today, and for the first 11 days as a whole, as I likely already have enough poems for a decent chapbook-length manuscript. And there’s still 19 more days left!