After last month’s haiku spree, I was intrigued to discover – via BoingBoing – the Chaterism, a form of constrained poetry thusly defined:
Snowball (also called a Chaterism): A poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer. One of the constrained writing techniques utilised by the Oulipo (Workshop of Potential Literature).
This, I thought, makes haiku seem trite.
I am the only idiot trying hardest flailing oblivious gesundheit
Well, maybe in difficulty. It starts off with not many choices beside I and A, perhaps O if you’re feeling lyrical, or some other letter if that’s what the poem is about. Then it gets easier for a bit then really really hard.
You could up the ante and go geometric, at least for a while but the options in 32-letter words are scant outside of scientific compounds. If you’re bored with starting with “I” you might borrow a constant.
π to math geometer counterbalancing
A Fibbonacci series of lengths (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…) lets you get Walt Whitmanesque
O I am the earth sunburnt onomatopoetic
OK, I had to get some help to finish that one. Too much, or not enough? I think a decent computer program could write better snowballs than I can. I’ll stick with my imperfect English haiku attempts at evoking the seasons.