Univocalic

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A univocalic is a type of lipogrammatic constrained writing that uses only a single vowel, "A", "E", "I", "O", or "U", and no others.

Examples[edit]

  • One of the best-known univocalic poems was written by C.C. Bombaugh in 1890 using "O". Bombaugh's work is still in print. An example couplet:
No cool monsoons blow soft on Oxford dons,
Orthodox, jog-trot, book-worm Solomons
  • The Austrian poet Ernst Jandl composed his univocalic poem "Ottos Mops" (Otto's Pug) from German words with only the vowel "O".
  • A contemporary example of English-language univocalic poems is Canadian poet Christian Bök's text Eunoia, published by Coach House Press in 2001. Each chapter is restricted to a single vowel, missing four of the five vowels. For example the fourth chapter contains only "O". A typical sentence from this chapter is "Profs from Oxford show frosh who do post-docs how to gloss works of Wordsworth.".[1]
  • An example of a univocalic novella is Georges Perec's Les Revenentes (sic), in which the vowel "E" is used exclusively.
  • Höpöhöpö Böks by Icelandic poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is a univocal lipogram using only the vowel Ö. It is composed as a tribute to Christian Bök's Eunoia.
  • Eszperente is a univocalic form of Hungarian in which no vowels can be used other than "E". This task is eased somewhat as "E" is a common vowel in Hungarian. In fact the letter e can denote two similar but distinct vowels. There are poems and even some books written in Eszperente, mostly for children.[citation needed]
  • Argentinean folk singer Leon Gieco released a novelty song in 1997 called "Ojo con los Orozco" ("Be Aware of the Orozco Brothers"); only the vowel O is featured in the song's lyrics; no other vowels are used.[2] Its describes the personalities and proclivities of eight fictional corrupt politicians, all brothers within the same family. The rap song is in Spanish, with a heavy dose of Lunfardo, some English words, and a few pop culture references (among others, Don Johnson, Bon Scott, John Lennon and Yoko Ono are mentioned). The song's video makes heavy use of surrealistic images.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McArthur, Tom (1992). The Oxford Companion to the English Language, p.612. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-214183-X
  2. ^ Gieco's lyrics for the song are quoted in http://www.rock.com.ar/letras/2/2563.shtml