Marcel Bénabou

Issue 14 · Fall 2014

In the collective work “A Raymond Queneau” (Bibliothèque Oulipienne, No. 4), Marcel Bénabou proposed “A poem after your method” in the form of a dizain of which the lines could be exchanged, in the manner of the “Litanie” of Jean Meschinot. The restriction here, quite naturally, is that two rhyming lines can only be separated by 0, 1 or 2 other lines. 

There are 38 arrangements of this kind which can register 125 permutations offered to rhyming pairs (the number of permutations of five objects is equal to 5!, or 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 = 120) and for each pair of rhyming lines two arrangements are possible, a total of 2⁵ (= 32) arrangements. The total number of dizains is consequently 38 × 120 × 32 = 145,920. (Description translated from the ALAMO website.)

This is a translation of a French program written in in 1985. Translation to English by Erik Stayton and Patsy Baudoin.