Monday, 17 October 2011

A Family of Astronauts - Lipogram

A lipogram is a type of constrained poem in which a letter or a group of letters are deliberately omitted. This is a lipogram written without using the letter E.

A family of Astronauts

My pain is still raw.
                           That night -
half-hungry, half-mad and full
of longing - I watch your sky for
signs of stars. That night I saw
four. Stars for all of us. Gold
insignia marks you out for him
                         in photographs.

(Don't do anything drastic.)

Mostly, I am happy.
                                But that night
I saw your ghost crawl fitfully along
his brow; an ugly torpidity of past
scars. And you, a youth who ran hard
and fast and lost his way among cold
lights of stars. I am not hurt,
                                         not now.

(Don't do anything drastic.)

I am almost happy. But,
                                    I saw him
look at your photographs with warm
admiration again. I will not allow our
son follow you, chasing shadows to
distant lands for King and Country.
No gold insignia. I will not put on a
                             black shroud again.


  1. Could you put a univocalism inside a lipogram? What would you call it?

  2. I'd call it a unilipolism. It would have alternating 'e' and 'no e' lines. It would also have an ABAB rhyme scheme, iambic pentameter and all the letters, when added together, would come to 42.
    (I might have gone to far...)

  3. You can't add letters, silly! It's numbers you're thinking of.