You know what’s weird? Erasure poems. I’m a pretty skeptical person, and not easily persuaded to let that go. So when Rob, my English 355 professor, pulled out paint and paintbrushes for class my eyebrows raised. The class began to individually paint over words in books we brought to create what are known as erasure poems. This is the book I brought:
Yes…it is a book on how to raise your own personal cow, complete with diagrams of utters and intestines. My first attempt at the poems was a bit rough. I felt a little cheesy painting in class and trying to form words out of it. Eventually, I got over that feeling as I began to really focus on the words and how I could deconstruct the page to become what I wanted it to become. Admittedly, these are not great pieces of art, but I think they show how I began to have fun with the book and work with it’s weird format:
The purpose of this blog is not to show you this cool new exercise I learned, but instead to encourage you to try something new and see where it leads you. I don’t think the erasure poems are wonderful things worth publishing, but they’ve helped me slow down and take time to really notice words and how they can fit together. I’ve begun doing them outside of class because it’s a kinetic and focused exercise that makes my brain work differently than it normally does. For you, achieving that space may look like a different exercise–explore new things to find what works for you! It may just be erasure poems in strange books you find in your basement.
Abby Klett, co-editor