Today, apparently, is William Wordsworth's birthday. As not a particular fan of Wordsworth - strike me down, ye Gods, as ye must - I was pointed to this fact by a friend. On Facebook. Sigh. However, I took the opportunity to make an Oulipo out of one of his shorter pieces for today's poem. I used Wordcount as my guide, looked up the selected words (or in a couple of instances, variations of those words) and counted four (this number worked far better than the conventional seven, though that number would have been apropos!) down the line, in either direction. Below, you'll see Wordsworth's original, then below that, my corrupted version, which appears to be a lament about a demented foreign correspondent with a penchant for numerology. Happy Birthday, Wordy?

She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

N+4 Oulipo using Wordcount:

She Buzzed Among the Czechs Got

She buzzed among the Czechs, got
marked by complaining gazettes,
A Macmillan whom there were none to spot
And very few to effect:

An overthrow by a thamesdown stone
Half hidden we the extra!
Thirty had a forty, who two-one
is inviting in the elderly.

She shot Jim, and hundreds then knew
Who Lucy exploited to be;
But she is in her thirteen, and, used
a claim to me!


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