Poetry Friday!

Where the Sign Ends

There is a plait where the sign ends
And before the structure begins,
And there the gravel grows soft and white,
And there the supermarket burns crimson bright,
And there the morass-bistro rests from his floor
To cool in the peppermint window.

Let us leave this plait where the snake blows black
And the dark structure winds and bends.
Past the pivots where the aster fluoride grow
We shall walk with a walrus that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the plait where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the chinchillas, they mark, and the chinchillas, they know
The place where the sign ends.

A few days ago, while blog-surfing, I stumbled on this post from Miss Rumphius explaining OULIPO poetry. OULIPO is a form of poetry created in 1960 by a writer and mathematician. The form is designed to examine verse written under strict constraints. There are many constraint forms. One of these forms is called S+7. In S+7, the writer takes a poem already in existence and substitutes each of the poem’s substantive nouns with the noun appearing seven nouns away in the dictionary. This can also be used with verbs.

While I am as far from a math person as possible, this idea intrigued me. Above, please find my S+7 constraint form of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”. It was so much fun!! I also used this as my Writer’s Notebook Wednesday entry…..I guess I’m kinda cheating this week! 😉

This week, Poetry Friday is hosted by Big A little a. Check it out!


4 Responses

  1. OULIPO poetry has fascinated me for a while. Revisiting some of the old constraints is fun, but I like even more that coming up with new constraints each time was more than half the fun.

  2. This is so much fun! I hope you don’t mind that I linked your poem to my OULIPO page.

  3. Not at all!!! Feel free to link. 🙂 You were my original inspiration.

  4. This is quite funny. I enjoyed Mad Libs so much in school that I used them to get my students thinking of nouns, verbs and adverbs. But THIS — this is like the best Dictionary game rolled together with Mad Libs, and it’d be great fun to do on a rainy Friday just for fun …

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