© Copyright 2005 Chris Culy All Rights Reserved
Otto Poe Trea was born in '05 and was fortunate enough to collaborate with some great authors and personnages, such as Jane Austen, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Teddy Roosevelt, and others. Oddly enough, his cousin on his mother's side, Edgar Allan Poe, refused to have anything to do with O.P., perhaps because Edgar was an aspiring poet himself.
Although not as well known as his brother, Art S. Trea, O.P. was rather influential in his own right. In working with Burroughs and others, he was able to bring out their poetic sides, as shown here, which otherwise remained hidden.
In addition to the above mentioned authors, O.P. influenced André Breton, helping shape Breton's early thoughts which led to the Surrealist movement. In particular, O.P. introduced Breton to a common parlor game, which Breton and others adapted to become The Exquisite Corpse (My version of The Equisitive Corpse is now a corpse; try Wikipedia) The Exquisite Corpse.
I first heard of O.P. through a common relative Anne "Sis" Trea. I thought his work was very interesting, and, surprised that I had never come across it before, I decided to create this small site to make some of that work available to a wider audience.
As mentioned above, O.P. collaborated with many authors. Working with them, he was able to take their own words and fashion poems from their prose. He coined the word textoem to convey the notion of "forging refined poems from nuggets of texts." As can be seen from the examples here, O.P. was very much ahead of his time in terms of form, style, and imagery.
Each line of a textoem comes from a book by the given collaborator. O.P.'s genius was to see how those phrases and sentences could be reworked into poetry. Not all of the collaborators were open to all types of poetry. For example, only Charles Dickens, of the co-authors presented here, could be persuaded to write sonnets. In fact, Dickens was the most open to poetry in general. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs were more limited, not liking either limericks, in addition to sonnets. Surprisingly, Teddy Roosevelt did not like villanelles. Perhaps they were too constraining for his free spirit.
I hope that you enjoy the textoems available on this site.
All the textoems (don't try this with slower connections!) (It's OK now — we have faster connections in 2018!)
The quatrains (Just use all the textoems!)