Column Prose

I had the idea for a kind of restricted poetry/storytelling, where by following a strict line length limitation, certain columns would have the same letter in the same column over and over, creating a strange visual effect when using a fixed width font.

The more flexible version allows for some manual alignment, but strictly it would be aligned using something like vim’s gq visual mode command, with something like this set:

:set tw=79 cc=80

or shorter for shorter width. Maybe 40 is a good start.

Now what to write about in this limited prose? Whatever it is should make the task easier… maybe I’ll start with a well known passage and twist it until it fits the mould.

         o o o                        
According to all known laws of real
true aviation, there is no way a bee or
any flea should be able to fly.  Its
wings are too small to get its fat
small body off the ground.  The bee, of
course, removed of humans, flies anyway
possibly alone in not caring what
humans do do know is impossible.
         o o o                        

I think having multiple columns would also be impressive. I could place the letters and type into is, using vim’s replace mode (R key).

Also useful is regular expressions and a dictionary.

For instance,

grep -i "^.\{6\}i" *.txt

According to all known laws of
portraits, only informal demons would
want livestock personally. Most of them
abbreviate occupationally until little
is antientropic. Properly, these
specific foolish duos alone can be a 
huge pill to unorthodoxly swallow or 
sweetlip. Contributors lamely avoid
contamination by promptly cutting all
ties with possible ontological
      i    o       o   l
      i    o       o   l
      i    o       o   l

AccordIng tO all knOwn Laws of
portraIts, Only infOrmaL demons would
want lIvestOck persOnalLy. Most of them
abbrevIate OccupatiOnalLy until little
is antIentrOpic. PrOperLy, these
specifIc foOlish duOs aLone can be a 
huge pIll tO unorthOdoxLy swallow or 
sweetlIp. COntributOrs Lamely