There is an excellent essay titled MNMLST POETRY: Unacclaimed but Flourishing
, by Bob Grumman, which captures the essence of the 'micropoem,' the effort to do something poetic, something which speaks to the reader with the greatest possible economy of thought. (My favorite example is Grumman's first -- the word "M SS NG" following by "Thiiief!" -- illustrating the location of those stolen i's, as well as the accompanying emotion. There are as well examples which I like of a letter which appears to be an "m" but with an extra leg; an "i" where the dot is the poet's fingerprint
(signifying the poet's self, and so "I"); and an equation
simply reading "(! + ?)2
." (Grumman himself identifies as his favorite, "lighght," with two sets of the silently floating "gh" in a word which implies the opposite of being weighed down, to be presented in the center of an otherwise blank page). I warmly encourage the reading of this essay -- it will deliver more than a few chuckles, I warrant!!
I have, confessedly, failed to do so simple a thing as this, in multiple stabs at a poem containing only two-letter words, through rampant overthinking of the problem. But, as astounded and delighted as I am to see this old nodeshell well-put into action again, perhaps I'll again encourage the challenge of writing a meaningful free
-form poem using only two letter words and abbreviation
s, and giving myself and my fellow noders permission
, in pursuit
of this odd endeavour
, to mix in some questionable abbreviated forms and a sprinkling of archaic and/or foreign terminology
First, let's examine our ammunition. It would be beyond us to list all known two letter words here. But immediately we have a round selection of pronouns
: me, he, we, it, us, and (to stretch linguistics
a bit) ye, along with the possessive "my." And we have some prepositions
to tie them together with and indicate movement: in, of, up, or, at, an, by, so. And on top of that, a smattering of useful verbs. Be!! Go!! Do!! Naturally, we have "am" but can not use the lonely "I" with it, leaving it wasted absent a highly creative use. And we have "no
," which used in the Scottish sense can be quite versatile:
To be or no to be.
And, naturally, we have a variety of proper names and plain old nouns (and well known two letter abbreviations and short forms) to try out. Ax, ox, ad, ex, ed (or Ed), ma, pa, IQ
, qi, GI, CD, GQ
. (One might go so far as to suggest "an ax in an ex on an ox".) Throw in an "oh" or an "ah" or an "eh" or an "uh," some bits from other languages, the French "et" for and, "le" or "la" for "the" (or perhaps Spanish "el," to go along with "si" for "yes," unless you wish to use the informal English "ok"). And, at last, there are a few collocations worth considering, as in "op ed" and "et al." So all told, there's material enough to work with -- so let us go forth and arrange it!!
Is it / as it is?
To be qi?
As it is to be?
He or me? Or we?
Or 'we or ye'? (or we, et al.)
Or.... oh, to be of?
By Ra or Io, or by my Jo. Ai ai, go, we do.
(In an ad, ok, ok, up it is to go....)
Up, up on / an el.