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4 Experiments in Deconstruction

- Harry Godwin

 

Description : I have been conducting experiments on Johan de Wit’s statement ‘Everybody does it’ dated 9/August/2007. The 4
included here are from the section ‘Lexicographic Experiments’. There are 2 other sections: ‘Physical Experiments’ & ‘Audible
Experiments’. Other sections may be added as time passes. Other experiments include cooking the poem, putting the poem in a
kitten’s basket for one month, transforming the poem into musical notation and leaving the poem outside for one week. Many of
these are ongoing or have yet to be undertaken.

The 4 experiments included here are :

Re-translation
Alphabetising
Dictation
Letter Replacement

 

Re-translation

The poem is translated into Dutch using a popular online language tool, and is then re-translated back into English using a
different tool.


Result:

edereen do (WFW 08/12/07) 9 august 2007 As soon as is always dense at a common
re punch then praatclub to a infestation of public even fiddle as skeptics claim that
poetry superior to Chief Whip is examined or cumbersome cases crutches or is
provided with drinks is. The ins and outs of the future are passed on by means of an
impressive range entitled family connections to the behaviour of the kalibratie of
product seating. Toch, the old game of the hand of a random word speech to open
and close expectation has been called upon to lesson established give dichters that
language then gladly supports poetry as at the top on the menu, to joy of all people
present. Questions or poetry are expensive, absurdity or meaningless must be
addressed to the redactie to deserve their keep with an intentional provocation of
striking bargain hunters. Yes, poetry takes a worldly line and inspects the steps of the
first, second and third ideas driftbuien. Poëtica according to the expectations poetry
will follow this side of the Atlantic, but this can change as a result of the dominating
bindweeds, the restricted number of burned out car found in velvet the pockets of
unlawful bystanders and if that was not enough, unexpressed but exalts acceptance of
the lines of thinking at the reception would seal as a result of desire to progress. [To
see you later, when we both speak the same language!] The impact of poetry could
explain the following: its presence in the population of the language, a proliferation of
distribution words by wet lips and regrettably expire of the concentration and use the
wish of readers their completed oester-up card as wafer. Poetic derailment is not the
equivalent of linguistic alienation longer, even if the outlines stay and of grammar and
syntax is described in reversed order of to the power: sun crams can be always applied
and if so, a realignment of the modules must take place before a mixed blessing
withdraws sense of opinion expression as fixed by artistic temperament. When the
lines open for public, its cocksure access to concessions and consents will be paid back
welcome and, if necessary, entirely.


Effect on Reading:

While some of the Dutch elements remain (the title, interestingly, is indistinguishable), the poem appears at first glance to have
survived the translation process unscathed. However, the original fluidity & accuracy of language has been corrupted just
slightly, but enough to make the reader sound like a new speaker of English, using an inaccurate dictionary. For example
‘prevailing winds’ becomes ‘dominating bindweeds’. These mis-tranlsations aren’t far from the mark, the gist is there, but the
reader gets the feeling of reading early modernist work.

 

Alphabetising

The characters making up the poem are put into alphabetical order.


Result:

,,,,,,,,,,,,,
.........
!
::
(
)
[
]
//
0000
1
22
77
8
9
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaa
bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc
ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhh
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
j
kkkkkkkkkk
lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp
Qq
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
SSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
ss
TTtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
vvvvvvvvvvvv
WWWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
xxxxx
Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy


Effect on Reading:

The make-up of the poem is completely changed. The reader would never know how the original appeared despite everything
thepoem originally contained being present. This also brings a performance element to the reading, as emphasis is placed on
punctuation marks, which usually effect the words they precede/follow.

 

Dictation

The poem is converted from text to audio (so that the poem is read by a computer-generated voice). This is then played to a
dictation program, converting it back into text.


Result:

 and you bogus we will you sent the minimum of August 2007 once his old is closer to
share response and accounting firm to win infestation of public hands even the
sceptics Korean that politics is said. When she would be interested in molested by
current some separately. This year’s end up from the future by the relief from an
impressive me of time and find the connections to come down the calibration of
private placement student the agent. Of using it would have random, and a speech
and clients down anticipation has been industry to teach a pound of politics that
language where please supports poetry is placed on them and you can have a lot of all
those present poetry is expensive answered and numerous should be addressed to win
the cancer in their tea with a derivative provocation of conspicuous bargain hunters
years poetry takes on the
and approves of first steps second thoughts and third tier terms expected to file and
poetry the sound of the Atlantic of this might change into the print the unions the
reduced the number of them apart car is found in the than the two pockets of an often
used bystanders and do that was not enough year distinguished by can find
acceptance of lines of marked by the front desk would feel that the designer from
progress in left

To see you later when we will speak the same language arts

To the repercussions poetry of extreme the following its presence in the population of
land use the proliferation of owners. But it was fruits and remember the man says of
concentration and design and of repairs to you that dropped out what’s the car as a
return agreement is not equivalent of Louis had the street continue longer even if the
contents as soldiers of permanent syntax by now live in rehearsal and the rise to
ponder send the last have always been planted and the salary schedule in the modules
should take place before and experience in the process from speech as sent out there
has had temperament public opinion into the access to concessions in confessions
partner can and if necessary will be room.


Effect on Reading:

Immediately, the reader sees the poem has been broken into three stanzas (a startling second stanza, stating: ‘To see you
later when we will speak the same language arts’, which gets the correct dictation from the original but adds ‘arts’). The
poem gains an accidental logic ‘the sceptics Korean that politics’, ‘to win the cancer in their tea’, ‘and poetry the sound
of the Atlantic’. Here, the reader feels, is a poem, not just the alternative of a poem.

 

Letter Replacement

Each letter/digit in the poem is replaced with the next vowel/consonant in the alphabet (e.g. a=e, b=c)


Result:

Iwiszupi fuit ov                                                             (XGX 19/23/18) 0 Eahatv 3118

Updi ot emxezt dmutis vu e tjesif sitqupti vjep e vemloph tjuq vu ep opgitvevoup ug qacmod epvt iwip og tdiqvodt dmeon vjev quivodt ot taqisous vu epz djoig xjoq cioph vitvif us numitvif cz dseplt us taqqmoif xovj fsoplt. Vji opt epf uavt ug vji gavasi esi cioph simezif vjsuahj ep onqsittowi essez ug vovmif genomz duppidvoupt vu dupfadv vji democsevoup ug qsufadv qmedinipv. Tvomm, vji epdoipv heni ug atoph e xusf ev sepfun vu uqip aq tqiidj epf dmuti fuxp epvodoqevoup jet ciip ipmotvif vu viedj opdancipv quivt vjev mephaehi xjip qmietif taqqusvt quivsz og qmedif up vji nipa, vu vji fimohjv ug emm vjuti qsitipv. Raitvoupt xjivjis quivsz ot iyqiptowi, ectasf us niepophmitt tjuamf ci effsittif vu ifovust iespoph vjios liiq xovj e fimocisevi qsuwudevoup ug duptqodauat cesheop japvist. Zit, quivsz velit e napfepi mopi epf eqqsuwit ug gostv tviqt, tidupf vjuahjvt epf vjosf vepvsant. Quivodt ot iyqidvif vu gummux quivsz vjot tofi ug vji Evmepvod, cav vjot nohjv djephi fai vu vji qsiweomoph xopft, vji sifadif pancis ug caspv-uav dest guapf op vji wimwivz qudlivt ug apeavjusotif cztvepfist epf og vjev xet puv ipuahj, vji apfotvophaotjif cav hmusogoif eddiqvepdi ug mopit ug vjuahjv cz vji gsupv fitl xuamf tiem epz fitosi gus qsuhsitt. [Tii zua mevis xjip xi cuvj tqiel vji teni mephaehi!] Vji siqisdattoupt ug quivsz duamf iyqmeop vji gummuxoph: ovt qsitipdi op vji quqamevoup ug mephaehi, e qsumogisevoup ug xusft tqsief cz nuotv moqt epf sihsivvecmi meqtit ug dupdipvsevoup epf vji fitosi ug siefist vu ati vjios vuqqif-aq uztvis desf et xegis. Quivod fiseomnipv ot puv vji iraowemipv ug mophaotvod itvsephinipv epz muphis, iwip og vji dupvuast epf tukuaspt ug  hsennes epf tzpvey esi uavmopif op siwisti usfis ug vji soti vu quxis: tap cmudlt dep emxezt ci eqqmoif epf og tu e sitdjifamoph ug nufamit tjuamf veli qmedi cigusi e noyif cmittoph xovjfsext tipti gsun tqiidj et tiv uav cz esvotvod vinqisenipv. Xjip vji mopit esi uqip vu vji qacmod, uqopoupevif edditt vu dupdittoupt epf dupgittoupt esi ximduni epf, og pidittesz, xomm ci sigapfif op gamm.


Effect on Reading:

As the grammar remains intact, the reader tackles an unknown language but can sense the rhythm (though it is difficult, on
first reading, to get the tongue round certain words). The words lend themselves to the sound of various languages; Russian,
German & French in particular. As there is no real meaning and the only way of translating is through the equation, the reader
feels unfulfilled, disappointed.

 


Johan de Wit's 'No Hand Signals or the invisibility of language in poetry: statements 1992–2008' was published by
Veer Books in December 2009.

 

Readings webjournal, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. email: estaphin@gmail.com or redochre.aodan@gmail.com or phugill@mac.com