Oulipost, Day 23 – Inventory

Select text from your source paper, and collate it into the component parts of speech (nuns, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, etc.).  Bonus points for creative presentation of these lists.
I chose a sentence from each of four sections of the Boston Globe for inventory.  Reporters have learned their lessons well; there were precious few adverbs!  I’m presenting them first in a chart which is a list horizontally, then a sentence if read vertically.  With the leftover words, I assembled a few sentences.  I changed plurality as needed, but otherwise the words are intact. It’s all pretty much nonsense sentences, but this was an interesting method of remixing the words.  The one unanticipated aspect of this exercise is that words may represent different parts of speech, depending on how they are used.  When I inventoried the words in these sentences, I categorized them based on their uses therein, but when presenting them in new sentences, they may take on new roles. See how other Ouliposters juggled this constraint at the Found Poetry Review.


Noun                     Mangoes            Symbols            Side              Bins

Verb                      are taken           are                       is going      are spinning

Preposition       from                    after                   on                  down

Article                  the                      the                       the                 a

Adjective            few                     short                   granite         seaside

Noun                     parks                 day                      parish           school

Preposition       for                      of                          as                    from

Pronoun             what                  that                      their              what

Noun                     cents                 king                     street             blocks


Leftover sentences

Noun sentence –           Here, maps mark Bristol fruit orchards; there, St. Peter brakes nine wheels.

Verb sentence –             Thought is found filling, is doing, started.

Adjective sentence –  Another Catholic Indian owns fifty tourists; status nails age.

Adverb sentence –        Seriously, not so still.


And so, a very Oulipian poem, comprised of these inventoried sentences.


Another Catholic Indian owns fifty tourists; status nails age.

Side is going down
the granite parish
as their street;

here, maps mark Bristol
fruit orchards; there, St.
Peter brakes nine wheels.

Bins are spinning
down a seaside school,
from what blocks?

Mangoes are taken
from the few parks –
for what cents?

Symbols are after
the short day of that
king; thought is

found filling,
is doing, started.
Seriously, not so still.


Boston Globe, April 23, 2014

Gopal, Sena Desai. Mango mania over India’s most revered fruit

Moskowitz, Eric. After 92 years, a hardware landmark closes

Powers, John. The time of his life

Woolhouse, Megan. Yachts and a food pantry in uneasy juxtaposition



2 thoughts on “Oulipost, Day 23 – Inventory

  1. You handled the “creativity” part of this challenge beautifully, Sonja. The chart is a wonderful idea and the leftover sentences make a great found poem. I love this.

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