Oulipost #24 – Homosyntaxism

Homosyntaxism is a method of translation that preserves only the syntactic order of the original words. To give a rudimentary example, if N=noun, V=verb, and A=adjective, the outline NVA could yield solutions such as “The day turned cold,” “Violets are blue.”
Option 1: Choose a sentence from your newspaper source text and write as many homosyntaxisms as possible based on that same variation.
Option 2: Complete a homosyntaxism of an entire paragraph or article found in your text.

I chose a variation of Option 2, three sentences from a paragraph, and repeated them throughout my poem.


I imagined, with a vision of nightfall,
she was dreaming without fear, and dying with grace.
We huddled around her bed and whispered,
her grasp slipping from my hand.

She was sleeping through sunlight, and wincing in pain.
They coddled with warm blankets and eased
our grief, tending with hushed endearments.

I surrendered, with a moment of hesitation.
She was shutting down systems, and turning toward light.
We gasped with our sadness and held
our breath, turning from stilled hands.

Source: Dana Hunsinger Bengow, Indianapolis Star, April 24, 2014


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sonjajohanson10
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 03:08:57

    Mary, that’s lovely; the constraint is not at all evident.”sleeping through sunlight”


  2. Mary Sexson
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 03:18:11

    Thanks Sonja!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: