Table of Forms—Univocalic

A univocalic poem is a particular type of lipogram: a poem excluding all but one of the vowels. Published examples include George Perec’s Les Reventes (1972) translated as The Exeter Text: Jewels, Secrets, Sex (1996) (translated by Ian Monk).

"Deep Dentelle screened, the seven green Mercedes Benzes resembled pestered sheep. They descended West End Street, swerved left, entered Temple Street then swept between the green vennels’ beeches, elms ‘n’ elders. These trees enkernelled Exeter’s See’s svelte, yet nevertheless erect, steeples." (Exeter Text excerpt)

Another famous univocalic poem is Lord Holland’s Eve’s Legend:

"Men were never perfect; yet the three brethren Veres were ever esteemed, respected, revered, even when the rest, whether the select few, whether the mere herd, were left neglected." (Eve's Legend excerpt)

And the most striking example would have to be the book Eunoia, by Christian Bök.

Analogous forms might include a polyphone, a poem using only one vowel sound, regardless of which letters are used to represent it

Oh! John don't go to Kosovo (Newspoem 17 March 1999): a progressively (abecedarian) univocalic poem, in which each line is univocalic on the vowel that follows in the alphabet the vowel used in the previous line. This poem is also a six vowel serial poem using heavy stuttering. Furthermore it is also a number poem, comprising two stanzas each comprising six six-word lines., on Avenue A.

Flawed univocalic postcard to Nick.

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Dominique Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn
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