Literature of constraints: A detective novel written entirely without the letter E, a book of 10 sonnets that share a rhyme scheme and sound... more »Arts & Letters Daily tipped me the wink about The Penguin Book of Oulipo: Queneau, Perec, Calvino and the Adventure of Form yesterday.
One of the many gifts the OuLiPo has given the world is the beau présent, which is a poem that contains only the letters in the recipient’s name. Here's a haiku from my name: a present from me to me.
I was in a jail,
snow shone on an ashen branch.
Whoosh, here rejoins now.Which reminds me. I knocked on my old school friend Sean's door when I was back in Cardiff on the weekend, only to confuse his brother Kevin with him when he opened the door. Oulipesque as that may appear, it is still a hint we don't get together enough these days.
Sean and I exchanged beau présent haikus this year.
Mine based on his name:
Bees burn, ere beaks break
A sunken sun rebukes us.
Seek, ask, reassure.His based on the letters in mine:
Rare is his renown
As when in absence we hear
Sea in a seashellHis is better.