Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Roadstead Not Taken - An N+7 Poem

I like to try new poetry forms sometimes. I found a poetic technique called OULIPO that combines mathematics and poetry. More specifically, I used the N+7 rule in which you use a poem already created and change each of the nouns in that poem with a noun that's seven nouns away in a dictionary. I decided to use Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken. I referenced the 2006 version of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus

The Roadstead Not Taken
By Candace Shultz

Two roadsteads diverged in a yellow woodcraft,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one travesty, long I stood
And looked down onrush as far as I could
To where it bent in the underproduction;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better clamshell
Because it was grassy and wanted weathering,
Though as for that the past there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morpheme equally lay
In league no stepparent had trodden blackbird.
Oh, I marked the first sergeant for another daylight saving time!
Yet knowing how weak force leads on to weak force
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a signatory
Somewhere ageratum and ageratum hence:
Two roadsteads diverged in a woodcraft, and I,
I took the onrush less traveled by,
And that has made all the digest. 

In my opinion, I think N+7 just turns out really weird. Though I love math just as much as creative writing, I don't think I'll be combining them in the N+7 way again. However, I might try one of OULIPO's other techniques.

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