Back in May of 2001 there was a small disturbance in New York when Madame Tusseaud’s decided to add a wax statue of Arafat to their museum collection. The poets of Newspoetry.com were given a challenge to write a univocalic poem. I had never heard of univocalic poetry before then. My life was changed. However, I reached an impasse, as my brain had severe cramps coming up with words using only one vowel. Here’s the poem I wrote:
Bad Bad Bad!
Ban Wax Arafats!
Ban All Arabs!
Ban Ban Ban!
Considering my mental difficulties, I was quite pleased with the result. Naturally, I hoped all readers would understand I was attempting to capture the mentality of those who were protesting. The simple words helped to emphasize this commentary, which pleased me to no end. My poetic deficiencies looked intentional.
I’ve recently discovered a word-puzzle website where you can search for a list of words meeting specific constraints. Morewords.com Using this I have created univocalic word lists for a,e,i,o,u and y. Unsurprsingly, e is the longest list with almost 3500 words. Y is the shortest list with only 101. Writing anything that is understandable with the y-list is extremely difficult.
by byrl byrls bys cry crypt crypts cyst cysts dry dryly drys fly flyby flybys flysch fry ghyll ghylls glycyl glycyls glyph glyphs gym gyms gyp gyps gypsy hymn hymns hyp hyps lymph lymphs lynch lynx my myrrh myrrhs myth myths mythy nymph nymphs ply pry psych psychs pygmy pyx rhythm rhythms rynd rynds scry shy shyly sky sly slyly spry spryly spy sty stymy sylph sylphs sylphy syn sync synch synchs syncs synth synths syph syphs syzygy thy thymy try tryst trysts typp typps typy why whys wry wryly wych wyn wynd wynds wynn wynns wyns xylyl xylyls xyst xysts
Yeah. I know April is over, but I still have poetry on my mind.