Thursday, September 11, 2008


A univocal passage is, quite simply, a passage that contains only one vowel. As noted by Harry Mathews in the Oulipo Compendium, we can also describe a univocal text as a lipogram in the excluded vowels. (To review, a lipogram is a text composed without one or more letters of the alphabet.)

Below is a short poem in which 'o' is the only vowel.


Mold grown on pools,
Blood color'd moons,
Old Scots' drool,
Trod-on cocoons,

Gowns torn on thorns,
Cold, hollow rooms,
Long spools of worms,
Gorgons on shrooms,

Porn sold to clowns,
Chloroform spoons,
Forlorn port towns,
Bottoms of tombs,

Condoms worn wrong,
Fog, torpor, gloom--

Slow tools of doom.