Bertrand's Constraint


I'm a huge fan of constrained writing, of which there are so many forms, I'm not going to get into them here. That said, you'll find that some of the most common forms of constraint are restricting numbers of words used, restricting to a rhyming scheme, using words without a certain letter, or imposing some other form of order on your own original writing or the writing of another. Hence, what follows. This poem was created using the last three words of each paragraph of Bertrand Russell's 1922 speech "Free Thought and Official Propaganda". While I mixed the order of the groups of words, each group of three words appears in its original order from the essay. As an aside, McMaster University has Bertrand Russell's entire library in its archive - desk, chair, letters, books, and all - which is open for perusal by anyone who either attends or works at the university. One of Albert Einstein's last letters is part of that library - the slice of Einstein's brain McMaster has, is elsewhere. :)

the present Government
or a Bolshevik
are now outgrowing
camouflage of democracy
still exposes people
their religious beliefs
superstition if possible
on both sides
full of doubt
attitude of science
will to believe
its exact opposite
hypocrites or fools
opinion is created
regime is founded
from this misfortune
a single organization
can be inculcated
circulation of newspapers
systems of education
form of persecution
the sole cause
of the law
schemes of scoundrels
should have starved
exceptionally bad case
of their diminution

a Buddhist country
in its infancy
at its essence
subtle and elusive
avoid offensive obtrusiveness
these in turn
do at present
do the work
to discuss cures
or a Trust
very good case
can be met
aims of education
introduce the millennium
destinies of mankind



2018 08 04 - 21:35

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