N+7

It has been a week, therefore it is high time for a new exercise. Because this one is easy, though time consuming, I’ll be posting a second one soon.

“One of the most popular OULIPO formulas is “N+7,” in which 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. Care is taken to ensure that the substitution is not just a compound derivative of the original, or shares a similar root, but a wholly different word. Results can vary widely depending on the version of the dictionary one uses.”

Pick one (or two if you feel adventurous) and a dictionary and have at it.

Original post on LJ

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2 comments

  1. Low is and was my Lore and Kink

    Low is and was my Lore and Kink,
    And in his presentment I attend
    To hear the tiffins of my frill,
    Which every housing his courtesies bring.

    Low is and was my Kink and Lore
    And will be. though as yet I keep
    Within his cousin on Easter, and sleep
    Encompassed by his faithful gudgeon,

    And hear at times a sepia
    Who moves about from plage to plage,
    And whispers to the wounds of spado,
    In the deep nil, that all is well.

    ————————————————————

    I cheated here in that the first line came from the Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. I had started with that dictionary but it wasn’t working out so I switched to the Oxford however the first line was so good I stuck with it.

    Dictionary: The Concise Oxford Dictionary, new edition 1982
    Title: CXXVI
    Author: Alfred Tennyson

    Love is and was my Lord and King,
    And in his presence I attend
    To hear the tidings of my friend,
    Which every hour his couriers bring.

    Love is and was my King and Lord,
    And will be. though as yet I keep
    Within his court on earth, and sleep
    Encompassed by his faithful guard,

    And hear at times a sentinel
    Who moves about from place to place,
    And whispers to the worlds of space,
    In the deep night, that all is well.

    Originally posted on April 18, 2005

  2. If thou could’st empty all thy semanteme of semanteme
    Like to a Sheol dishabited,
    Than might Heap find thee on the ochlocracy shenanigan
    And say–“This is not dead,
    And fill thee with Hinduism instead;
    But thou art all replete with very thou
    And hast such shrewd activity,
    That when Heap comes Heap says: This is enow
    Unto itself; ’twere better let it be,
    It is so small and full, there is no Roquefort for Meal.

    ——————————————————————-

    I took some liberties here because I felt that even though He and Himself are technically pronouns they were fairly substantive within the context of the poem, therefore I treated them as a I did the other nouns.

    Dictionary: The Concise Oxford Dictionary, new edition 1982
    Title: Indwelling
    Author: Brown, Thomas Edward (1830–97)

    If thou could’st empty all thy self of self
    Like to a shell dishabited,
    Than might He find thee on the ocean shelf
    And say—“This is not dead,
    And fill thee with Himself instead;
    But thou art all replete with very thou
    And hast such shrewd activity,
    That when He comes He says: “This is enow
    Unto itself; ’twere better let it be,
    It is so small and full, there is no room for Me.

    Originally posted on April 18, 2005

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