Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Erasure poetry

Poetry seems to be an emerging thread here at The Daily Beat (see the post on 1-12-09 about cleave poetry). To me (uneducated poet that I am), cleave poetry is a new form, and so is erasure poetry.

Wikipedia says "Erasure poetry is a form of Found poetry created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem. The results can be allowed to stand in situ or they can be arranged into lines and/or stanzas."

I first read about erasure poetry in Poets and Writers Magazine (Jan/Feb 2009). The article cited someone who did an erasure poem using the 9/11 Commission Report!

I wanted to try writing an erasure poem (the form kind of reminds me of visual or concrete poetry, the discipline of my friend Robert), and what better existing text than something from my hero, Jack Kerouac?

I decided to use the last paragraph from On The Road. Below is what the result looks like in situ:

Here is what the result looks like in traditional form:

The old river sense
      that all children know
The coming of rivers
      knows what's going to happen:
           Growing old

I think that's a pretty damn good poem as a first effort. I may dabble some more with this style.

Try it - it's fun! You could use a policy from work. Or the fine print that comes with a credit card statement. Or language from the No Child Left Behind Act. Or your favorite author's work (as I did).

I'm thinking it would be very beat to use something like credit card policy and create something beautiful and freeing. Paradoxical, n'est-ce pas?

If you write one, please share it with us here at The Daily Beat!


T-REX said...

will try man...erasure...the name itself sounds poetic...the chics will love it when i tell'em

Anonymous said...

hey, nice blog.

erasure poetry is pretty cool. It sort of frees your mind because your working within constraints. All the words you can possibly use are already there and it's just a matter of unlocking what you want to say. Ciao.

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Thank you, madison.

Tom said...

emerging The Beat
uneducated form,
Found an existing result
allowed to stand
cited to try
reminds me of concrete and
what Below
looks like Growing old
a fine statement
language from the
Child Left Behind
your policy
something beautiful
share it with us
On The Road

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Oh, yeah - Tom you are definitely in the running for the January book giveaway! Using my post as the basis of erasure poetry - clever!!

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Oh, BTW, Tom, I checked your blogger profile and we definitely have some common interests. My motto is "hate hate," and I LOVE Tolle and Krishnamurti!

Tom said...

"Hate hate" of course!

and whats funny too- about 4 months ago, I had a very "significant" dream - ranking up there as probably #3 or #4 in a lifetime of dreams- and the message (literally, it was delivered by some wise "messenger" dude in this case) was "love Love" ... and it was not referring to "personal" love- (in that same way as we might refer to a "personal" God, if you will) but rather, the Love with a captial "L" love that one trips over when one goes deep, into that Krishnamurti/Tolle territory...

so, Hate hate=love Love?

how could it not?!

glad for this Meeting with you- thanks for finding my "cleverness" worth posting :)

with big smiles and cheers for new friends

Tom (Mystics Meeting)
New Hampshire

Anonymous said...

The unnamed poet who erased The 9/11 Commission Report into The O Mission Repo is Travis Macdonald, a graduate, it turns out, of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, CO.