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. The poem I created from the book I rescued is called Nothing Lost.
About the Black Out Poem and Nothing Lost
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 drier textbook style of writing found in Carol S. Dweck’s Mindset translates into poetic form.
Nothing Lost Raw material Of utter failure They said, “Try harder Be more careful.” How would they Pay the ticket Work things out The next time? I was upset. “You don’t have to Be upset, These are not fun events.” Throwing up their hands Confront the challenges. “So, what’s new?” The importance of risk The power of persistence Try again The same expression “Nothing ventured, nothing lost.”
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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