Written for: Poets and Storytellers United
Weekly Scribblings #43: Found Poems and Erasures
(posted by Rosemary)
"Well I guess it’s fair to say that all erasures are found poems but not all found poems are erasures. (This may not be new information to you, but in case it is for some, please bear with me.)
In fact, found poetry is not so much a form as a method. It can take any form, as you'll see. But though it may look like free verse (unless it doesn't) it is arrived at differently. There are two main methods.
A found poem is a set of words you find somewhere, not originally intended as a poem, but in which you see or ‘find’ the poem that hides there. With the non-erasure kind, the words will be close together, the poem discoverable in the particular sequence."
"An erasure – a form made famous by Austin Kleon’s ‘blackout poems’ from newspapers – is when you actively erase printed words (blacking them out, whiting them out, or even using colour). The words you leave un-erased make the poem. It’s recommended that you look through a text, draw a box around words you want to keep and then use a marker to obliterate all the others.
In this kind of found poem the words may be very far apart on the page before your mind sees connections. It’s more arbitrary than the other method, and you have much more authorial control, because this time it’s not just a matter of coming across words which already work beautifully together, but of selecting the words in such a way that you make them work. The possibilities in one page of text could be many and varied."
heavy red rain gear
as fisherman's boat rides
where sock-eye salmon
are plentiful, since
time was thin. Midnight
sun–Summer in Alaska.
Fishing boats anchored
'neath flocks of gulls.
Hard work with dreams
of abundance without end.
(Found in an article in Nature Conservancy-Fall 2020)
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