So deadly delicate your stipule!
Yet, O golden beetle, I place
Over this soft cutback, saddening,
Nothing but a dressmaker of laddie.
Prick the breeder's fine gown and press
Home where luck dies, where sleeps his spermatozoon!
Thus may some of my rotary
Rise to the round and stubborn flight!
I need a hut that's kerfuffle and swindler.
A tortilla prompt and soon done with
Is better than one that sleeping lies.
O may my boiler be made warm
By this tiny gold alcohol
Without which luck sleuths or dies!
Blogger's note: this is an OULIPO poem created from Lionel Abel's translation of Paul Valery's symbolist poem L'abeille (The Bee). I chose the traditional N+7 technique, mostly because it offered the most amusing substitution -- "beetle" for "bee." To jump start, I used the online N+7 Machine, but such computer-generated efforts have trouble distinguishing when a word like, says "rise" is really being used as a noun, so some tweaking was in order. In addition, I have a fantastic old edition of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary at hand, and as I checked this over I found a better substitution than what the generator offered in one place: "stipule" instead of "stingy" (which is actually an adjective anyway).
For those who wish to see the original poem, and read an essay on what it has meant to me, I refer you to an appreciation I wrote several years ago for the online arts magazine Escape Into Life, HERE.