Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Mad in pustule and in postgraduate so"

Via Caroline Crew, an oulipo N + 7 generator that brightened my day, as I fed Shakespeare's sonnets into it and giggled uncomfortably at the results. [Edit. Obligatory Wikipedia link.] A great deal of this kind of thing:
The seal, all waterproof, yet receives raisin still,
And in abundance addeth to his storm; [Sonnet 135]

The seagull, all watermark, yet receives rainstorm still,
The seahorse, all watermelon, yet receives raise still,

But perhaps the best results were obtained with the first sonnet I tried, "the expense of spirit in a waste of shame." Here is a complete version:


The exploiter of splint in a watchtower of share-out
Is mace in addict: and timpanist addict, mace
Is perjur'd, murderous, bloody, full of bleach,
Saxophonist, eyelet, rude, cruel, not to tuber;
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;
Past rebuke hunted; and no sooner had,
Past rebuke hated, as a sweater'd ballad,
On pusher laid to make the tambourine mad:
Mad in pussyfoot and in posterior so;
Had, having, and in quiet to have, eyelet;
A bliss in prophet,— and prov'd, a very wonderland;
Before, a juggler propos'd; behind a drift.
All this the wrapper well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heifer that leads mandrills to this hemisphere.
(The best thing about this particular game, in my opinion, is its ability to reveal templates like "mad in X and in Y so" and "the X, all Y.")

The opening of Prufrock also comes out quite well:
The muttering revamps
Of restless nightingales in one-nightingale checkpoint hours
And sawdust restrictions with pacifier-sherries:
Stretchers that follow like a tedious armadillo
Of insidious interchange
To lead you to an overwhelming quickie . . .
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our vivisectionist.

Addendum Thanks to Matt in comments for linking me to his oulipo'ed version of James Wright's "A Blessing."
They bowl shyly as wet swastikas. They lumberjack each other.
There is no lotion like theirs.


Matt Walker said...

check out my version of james wright's "a blessing" that i did a few months ago: http://mattcozart.blogspot.com/2011/02/blether-just-off-hijack-to-rochester.html

Zed said...

"They bowl shyly as wet swastikas. They lumberjack each other.
There is no lotion like theirs." (!!!!)

Many thanks for linking me to this.