PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 252, Volume 46 Number 4, March - April 2020.

50 Chicagos for Paul Fournel Philip Terry
The chicago is a poetic form created by Paul Fournel, President of Oulipo (the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or Workhop of Poetential Literature), which bears a family resemblance to the riddle. It consists of a single stanza of five lines: the final line is a homophonic translation of a place name (or of the name of a person, a cheese, etc.); the first four lines are homosyntactic translations, or variants, of the final line, the ‘solution’ to the riddle, which is held in abeyance for the reader to guess. The final line of one of Fournel’s inuagural texts was a deformation of ‘Chicago’ – ‘Chie cagot’ (literally ‘shit sanctimonious hypocrite’) – which led Oulipo to name the form a chicago.

1.
Brassed off K
Fed up L
Sprightly M
Enthusiastic N
……………….

2.
Six win
Seven take a licking
Five draw
Three default
………………………

3.
John Vauxhall
Pete Volvo
Mike BMW
Rich Peugeot
……………….

4.
Fashionable slang
Out of date patois
Cool pidgin
Hip lingo
…………………….

5.
Pout vanished
Smile reappeared
Brooding terminated
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image