Tuesday, 2 April 2013

B is for ... BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW


So today is the 2nd of April, which must mean that it's the second day of the A to Z challenge.  I've decided to share my love of writing through this challenge, and hopefully introduce people to the world of Oulipo.  I first heard about Oulipo when I was at university, and I was fascinated by their approach to writing that I decided to delve deeper into the world of experimental writing.

In a nutshell, this group of writers likes to assign constraints to their work in order to push creative boundaries.  Not only is this fun to do (the process of writing something with a constraint really does open the mind), the results are brilliant.



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B is for ... BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW
"The outlaw in question is the name of the person (or subject) to whom the poem is addressed.  Each line of the poem includes all the letters of the alphabet except for the letter appearing in the dedicated name at the position corresponding to that of the line ..."

Oulipo Compendium ed. Harry Matthews & Alastiar Brotchie (London: Atlas Press, 2005) page 56.
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So, in layman's terms, if I were to write a poem to my dog, Lily, it would be a 4 line poem.  The first line would contain every letter apart from 'L', the second line would contain every letter apart from 'I', the third line would contain every letter apart from 'L', and the fourth line would contain every letter apart from 'Y'.

Here goes.

Lily
Tiny creature, expectant, amazed, a babe, a friend, ever growing in wonder, hope, joy, seeking requited affection.
Knowledge bursts forth from watchful eyes, a search, a struggle, a flex, a problem resolved, a zealous scratch enjoyed, urges quashed.
Perked ears work overtime, quizzing passers by, a protector, a just guard, a security system extraordinaire, bark far worse than bite.
Quiet and dozing, she sleeps in the most awkward of places, or wants to chase her ball and cracker just after dinner when I'm feeling fat, bloated, exhausted, but I love her.




Please forgive the soppyness of the last line, but I do love her *squee*

34 comments:

  1. Great post, Rebeccah! I love discovering new writing techniques, so thank you for sharing. I look forward to finding out more :)

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    1. That's the reason I picked her from the litter. She was the fuzziest one there! :D

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  3. What a cutie, and she sounds like a delightful pet.

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    1. Thank you. She can be delightful, when she's not shouting at everyone! She's a bit of a princess and she loves the attention :)

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  4. Aww, she's a cutie.

    I've never heard of that technique before but it's an interesting way to push yourself.

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    1. Thank you. It's a nice way of writing, especially if you're writing to someone special. Perhaps I should have shared this on Valentine's Day.

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  5. Awww great post :) and your dogs so cute too :3

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  6. Very cute dog. :)

    I'm not sure I could do a poem like that! But it's an interesting idea.

    Rinelle Grey

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    1. Thank you. Don't be defeatist. Positive mental attitude. Give it a go. If you try it and then can't do it, that's one thing. But you may surprise yourself if you do give it a go :)

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  7. Absolutely nothing wrong with undying adoration of one's dog- they earn it. And she looks like an angel.

    I’ve both never heard of this form of poetry nor ever seen it done. I’m awed on both accounts. And I get the feeling that at the end of the month I will have learned more from these posts than I did in an entire semester of creative writing.

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    1. Thank you Beverly. This is what I studied when I took creative writing at university. I doubt I would have come across it otherwise. I just hope I can do Oulipo some justice with my posts.

      Lily does indeed look like an angel, but sometimes she can behave like a right little devil! But of course I love her and I wouldn't have her any other way!

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  8. Another great technique and what a cute dog! (But then again I love cute animals)

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    1. Thank you :) She was an adorably cute puppy. Not to say she isn't cute now, but she was soooo *squee* when she was little ^_^

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  9. I love this and I'm going to explore these forms! And your poem rocks!
    Jan Morrison

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    1. Thank you. You should give them ago. They're fun to do, and it definitely gets the brain working.

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  10. Of course we don't fault you for a squee about Lily. She's the cutest of cuties! :)

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  11. She's adorable and I learned a new poem style :)



    Cynthia (The Sock Zone)

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  12. Cute pup!

    I honestly think this constraint was more challenging than the last. I don't think I'd succeed with the ever presence of Z lol

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. Thank you. I did find this one quite difficult, and I even did it wrong by using the forbidden letters. Good job I noticed just before I published this post!

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  13. I enjoyed your first two posts in the challenge. Very interesting. Sue
    http://suestrifles.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thank you very much. I'm glad you liked them :)

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  14. What a fun way to try to write a poem. I'll have to get my children to try this.

    TaMara
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

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    1. Thank you. It is fun, if not a bit tricky. But it's like gymnastics for the brain; it keeps your thought process active. It's always worth trying something new and giving it a go.

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  15. Hi Rebeccah, Cute little pooch. Love learning about these oulipos. Fun stuff. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

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  16. Gymnastics indeed. What fun.

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    1. Just remember to stretch out afterwards :)

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  17. A perfect ode to a lovely dog. Great job! :D

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