Wandering around the labyrinth of Arts and Letters Daily over morning tea, I found a Sara Lodge review of Daniel Levin Becker's Many Subtle Channels--it's more like a feature piece, and is a sort of introduction to the fascinating word-twisters of OuLiPo, the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle. Since I spent my afternoon and evening at a long track meet, I felt a bit frivolous and immediately started playing with the beau présent, which Lodge defines this way: "A beau présent, meanwhile, is a poem that contains only the letters in the recipient’s name. Writing one for Malcolm X would thus pose a challenge."
I used my writer's name, Marly Youmans, rather than my full name, just to limit the exercise further. Try one! (And if you do, leave it or a link to it in the comments.)
A May Lay
Marly Youmans beau présent
You, a man, say, marl--
You, Mara, Mary, Lou--
You, lars or Lars--
Nary a you--
And what about Malcolm X being a challenge? Why not take a stab at it?
Malcolm X beau présent
Loco, all-mal mall?
Loco lox loom?
Loco XOXO, ma'am.
Seek Giacometti’s “The Palace at 4 a.m.” Go back two hours. See towers and curtain walls of matchsticks, marble, marbles, light, cloud at stasis. Walk in. The beggar queen is dreaming on her throne of words…You have arrived at the web home of Marly Youmans, maker of novels, poetry collections, and stories, as well as the occasional fantasy for younger readers.
- Seren of the Wildwood 2023
- Charis in the World of Wonders 2020
- The Book of the Red King 2019
- Maze of Blood 2015
- Glimmerglass 2014
- Thaliad 2012
- The Foliate Head 2012
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage 2012
- The Throne of Psyche 2011
- Val/Orson 2009
- Ingledove 2005
- Claire 2003
- The Curse of the Raven Mocker 2003
- The Wolf Pit 2001
- Catherwood 1996
- Little Jordan 1995
- Short stories and poems
- Honors, praise, etc.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Posted by Marly Youmans at 9:14 AM
Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.
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I tried it:ReplyDelete
Here's the comment I left at Alisa's site: Confetti! You are the first brave soul (though others have said they would, they have not!) I expect you have a new feeling for the magic of your name. What grand words are hidden in it–grail and glean, reign and rain…ReplyDelete
So go take a look and be inspired!
I wish I had a really long, double-barreled name.ReplyDelete
Alisa's and yours are both (almost) wonderful.
Here is mine.
I yap by day and
Yip up gay…
Paul Digby by day
Pug pig by (night).
OK, so I cheated : D
Fun! Glad you jumped in, Gaulian Paul! Surprised you didn't have a "yay" in there! Short names are definitely more challenging. Also odd letters...ReplyDelete
(Do you think David would do one? Lot of letters there!)
David could write an Epic Poem, Marly. Have you ever known anyone with as many vowels and consonants in their name as he has (and that's excluding his middle name 'Azeroquyrt')ReplyDelete
I do not think we need to go for his fancy stuff HERE.
Azeroquyrt... What sort of a name is that, Paul?ReplyDelete
He is blessed with vowels, indeed. Though without Zerosquirt, he is missing "u."
Still, I think it might be interesting to see what he could do with Azure-quirt and all the rest of his letters...
A slug, a sill, a lull—
Our soul lags.
a gull, a sail—
How heavy and low, and then how light and high! Thank you, Ms. Luisa Igloria!ReplyDelete