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 write this form of poetry. I ran out of pages in Rebecca Hunt’s Mr. Chartwell. I decided to step things up in my adventure with black-out poetry.
Before I retired, I worked in a small university police office. Part of my duties centered around processing the lost and found. At the end of each semester, students often left books on table tops they couldn’t sell back to the bookstore. We kept them for a long time before placing them in the trash. I brought Carol S. Dweck’s Mindset home because it caught my attention. This poem I created from my rescued book is titled To Clean Things up.
About the Black Out Poem and To Clean Things up
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 book page, or 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’m excited to see how the different textbook writing style found in Carol S. Dweck’s Mindset translates into poetic form.
To Clean Things up Say outright About the tiny details Questions Expressing puzzlements Waited for her story to end I lose your point Get frustrated A problem of communication Blame came Fast and furious The answer was yes It could be repaired In each other’s eyes Radiated spontaneity A serious guy Charming A father figure A sense of security Never takes anything seriously A judgmental tyrant Swamped with work To clean things up Support rather than judgment
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.
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