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Words of a chosen text are replaced with their dictionary definitions. Gilbert Sorrentino has applied the method to popular songs; and in one of them, "Poor Butterfly," specifically to the lines:

The moments turn into hours
The hours turn into tears
And as she smiles through her tears
She murmurs low,
"Poor butterfly,"

which become:

She Must Die

Minute portions of time glide
Into 24th parts of days: 24th
Parts of days glide into periods of
Three hundred and sixty-five days.
And as she changes her facial expression
(So as to involve a brightening
Of the eyes, and an upward curving
Of the corners of the mouth-expressive
Of amusement? pleasure? affection?
Irony!) in the midst of
Her drops of secreted saline fluids,
She makes a low, confused, and
Indistinct sound. Not loud.
You, pitiful, slender-bodied,
Diurnal. With your large,
Broad, brightly colored
Wings!


More excerpts from the Oulipo Compendium



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