I have a confession to make. The Black Out Poem has captured my imagination. I find it interesting to take a page filled with writing and turn it into something often contrary to the original meaning. It’s like playing with someone else’s words and making them become my own. Free verse is the best way to work with this form of poetry. There are many pages of the novel I selected left. I’m going by the old cliché “waste not, want not.” I plan to use Rebecca Hunt’s Mr. Chartwell until it runs out of words to create Black Out verses. The poem I called Compliance.

About the Black Out Poem and Compliance

Poet takes a black marker and redacts words until a poem is formed. It is important to note the text and redacted words form a visual poem.

Method to use

1. Identify source text. The source can be a newspaper, a page from a book, or any written text.

2. Draw a box around keywords or phrases.

3. Make Connections between boxes. (This is optional.)

4. Color the rest in with a marker. You can use any color. The most common color used is black.

I found this style of creating a poem unique from anything I’ve ever tried before. The words are already provided, and the challenge is to make something poetic out of the text. I decided to use Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt to create these poems.


Decadent self-pity
Sucked at the edges
Clear instruction to leave
Mashing into
Registering the scene
Lay peacefully
Not completed
Then Travelled
Was moving
Drink and swear
Was recited
Proof of
Did nothing
Pretending compliance

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

Until Closing Time

he only way to start the party is to run my finger over the keys and see what pops up on the computer screen. I will call this poem Until Closing Time.

Entry 156: Taking a Break

My journey in the written word. Therefore, I plan to keep a journal in 2023 to document my progress. I will call this post Entry 156: Taking a Break.

Learn How to Say No

He will then find himself stuck in a situation he can’t escape. Rooster is also a man of his word, but he needs to learn how to say no.

Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

9 thoughts on “Compliance

    1. You are welcome. Thank you for reading. This style of poetry can either be fun or frustrating, depending on the words on the page. You can use a news paper, but I selected an old book I had around the house.

  1. Thank you for introducing this technique to me. I just posted a blackout microfiction to my blog here. Was looking for your blog when I wrote it last week because I wanted to give you a shout out. Now I found it and will link to your blog if it is okay.

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