An Exercise in the Omission of The Letter E

how hard to omit a typographical symbol
that occurs most of all typographical symbols?
I wish to construct a composition
that avoids handling of that particular
sign of our ABCs, but I am finding that
it is awfully hard to do so.
To accomplish this task
I am finding that I must constantly consult
a glossary of synonyms
but still a strong pull stays with this
author of stanzas to fashion a word
that is taboo within this composition.
How can I avoid handling of this particular
symbol? It surrounds us in all works that I
know of.
Do you know
what I am talking about?


this poem was written using a poetic device know as Oulipo. More specifically within Oulipo, I used the sub-technique of Lipogram which is a constraint in which at least one letter is not used in the poem.  The title should be a clue as to which letter I have chosen to omit.  Written for Anna’s prompt at dVerse.


27 thoughts on “An Exercise in the Omission of The Letter E

    • I think…if I interpreted Bjorn Rudberg’s explanation of his latest poem correctly, that this will fit with today’s dVerse prompt…but I’ll have to wait until the prompt is actually posted to be sure.

      • I chose to go without an e as my first choice (of writing without ascenders or descenders (letters that go above or below the “line”) was proving to be much too difficult.

  1. An impressive write, sir, & look here, I used E 5 times already, & thrice more, for U are so right that we must apply our ire to inspire a poem without an E (5 more). Damn, it is not easy to write with ease, as an eagle eating an eel (9 more). A tip of the hat to you!

    • Thanks Glenn. I had mistakenly put in the word undErstand near the end, but have managed to excise it. Yes, writing without e’s is almost impossible.

  2. oh wow – you managed – how tough – and so well done…. before you go to bed.. just shout out ALL the e words that you can think of…smiles

  3. Well, I am impressed with this, Bryan! You really achieved something with your writing of a poem without even ONE ‘e.’ And it makes sense too. Congratulations.

  4. I remember this particular constraint. Not easy,especially with found material. I ended up with a short poem when I tried it (another time another place). With univocalism, I ended up with a very short poem. Well done. it’s fun to see the results of constraints.

  5. E..

    mY favorite VowEL.. hE or sHE.. is androgynous too.. and giver hEr L and she becomEs El oR GOD and add in H before and L aftEr th@and thEn GOD becomEs HELL…

    It’s a small world aftRAll…


    the meaning of liF

    Without IT
    don’t maksns..


    IT h E r..;)

  6. Excellent experiment! I agree with you on the difficulty of univocalics as Christian Bok’s book, Eunoia, took him years to complete. Very impressive!

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