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Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Lino Cervantes, a heteronym of Eugenio Montejo, invented a genre called the coligram.

Here is an example:

Me alumbro a solas con una estrella arcaica

Malumbro sol cunestrel cáicara

Mumbo cuntrel cáicar

Mumbro trelaica

Mutaica brol




So the rules are:

1st line, a "poetic" or lyrical line of verse with no fixed syllable count:

I light myself up alone with an archaic star

The next line, a reduction of this line, with portmanteau words. "Me alumbro" = malumbro or "con una estrella" = cunestrel.

And so on. The last three line have one word each, culminating in a monosyllable. The number of lines can vary between 7 and 9, I think. Alliteration is almost always a feature:

La eternidad tan lenta con sus horas de nieve

Lernidad lenta coras nieve

Lidad len cros nieve

Dalenta crosieve

Téntada crieve





[Eternity so slow with its hours of snow.]

Of course Montejo's conventional poetry is also good, but this seems more interesting. Try reading them backwards too!

Let's try doing one in English

My father was not beaten as a child

Myfa wasn otbeata sachild

yfawno beast chil

fawnob eastchi

awnobe astchi



Something like that.

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