Today’s constraint is a variation of Jean Queval’s “Cent Ons”.
The instructions are quite simple: Compose a poem whose body is sourced from article headlines in your newspaper.
I used the print edition of this morning’s paper, putting together a list of headlines, moving from section to section, but as I went, already phrases were waving little flags “Pick me! Pick me!” so that by the time I was finished the list, I had highlighted more than enough to create my poem.
Even in my choice of subject, I was already outside the box, which was wonderful, although I never imagined ever writing a poem about this:
Zeroing in, a Zombie Sonnet
Tensions sweep eastern cities.
The politics of fear in Southern Ontario’s
undead playground, a bloody rivalry Cold War,
a delusion of safety zones.
Inuit seal hunt zombie MPs.
Exciting first-round matchups:
Trailer Park Boys duel Ford’s*
shifting tectonic plates.
Body parts grown by UK researchers
attract diplomats, tit-for-tat frantic farce
on a cold April day at the centre of the campaign
to end death. Humane Society’s ok with it.
Lest we forget,
it’s all about the tulips.
Carol A. Stephen,
April 9, 2014
*Ford’s refers of course to Toronto’s notorious Rob Ford.
SOURCE: OTTAWA CITIZEN, PRINT EDITION, APRIL 9, 2014
- Lest We Forget Vimy Ridge
Province’s shifting tectonic plates
Death of separatism? It’s a delusion
Arrest made in stabbing death
Russia, Canada duel with diplomats
Zeroing in on the zombie safety zones
Southern Ontario undead playground, tongue-in-cheek study says
Humane Society ok with Inuit seal hunt
Tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions not common since Cold War ended
Ben Johnson, Trailer Park Boy joins Ford’s re-election campaign
Body parts grown by UK researchers at centre of campaign to attract investment
Tensions sweep eastern cities
Plenty of potentially exciting first-round matchups
The politics of fear
On a cold April day
Traditional playoff pairing led to a bloody rivalry
It’s all about the tulips
Actors deliver a frantic farce
If you want to read more about Oulipo, click on this link to read Into the Maze: Oulipo at Poets. org, the Academy of American Poets website.
If you wish to read poems from other Ouliposters, you will find them here: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-9-headlines-variation-of-jean-quevals-cent-ons/#comment-1787
Fabulous! I had a friend printed in a Zombie poetry anthology… yes, zombie poetry does exist :).
Well, certainly a new topic for me. And I even managed to mention Rob Ford!
There are a couple Ouliposters in a zombie haiku anthology – pretty silly stuff. :-)
I love this, Carol! I’ve already selected my headlines from the Dining and the Opinion sections, oddly enough. I haven’t had time to play with them yet, but just now realized that the total number is 14. Sonnet here we come(sometime today.) ;)
Thanks, Barbara. Never thought I’d write about zombies though.
Love the undead theme threaded through.
Yeah, that was fun!
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Chuckle – what a playful piece! And I completely understand about lines shouting out “pick me!”; that’s a spot-on description.
Thanks! Yes, even the zombie line, although there are sometimes too many of those and of vampires these days. lol