20 April, 2013

Redacted Poetry (and Reader Participation)

One of my favorite hobbies is defacing books. Part of me also wants to start every blog post with an inflammatory sentence like that. Despite being a writer, I'm not much of a poet. I wrote one poem in my last Creative Writing class, and it turned out very...meh. In light of that, I recently decided that the only way I could truly appreciate the art is if I dove deeper into it, submersed myself in it. Learn how to live and breathe it, and most of the things I found took my breath away.

One practice, of note, is redacted poetry. The whole concept I found utterly fascinating (not to mention that I get to sniff Sharpies while I work), and it requires far more forethought than I had initially anticipated. If you're too lazy or too unmotivated to click the link (or if you'll get to it when you're done reading), I'll explain it here.

All you need is a book, and a Sharpie. Some imagination, also. I thought it would be obvious, but you never can tell with some people. Anyway, read the book first, to preserve it in your mind. Upon completion, obtain a second copy. At this point, sniff the Sharpie a few times to get yourself in the poem-writing mindset. This is essential, as poetry is magical and requires a sublime mind.

Awww, yeah. That's the good stuff, right there.

After that, get an image of what sort of poem you feel emanating from the book. This part, I've found, is the most time-consumingly difficult aspect. There are so many things you could say by eliminating the unnecessary words in the original book. Also, one slip of the marker changes the entire poem.

And by that, I mean it is (almost) literally impossible to make a redacted poem without the blacking-out of the words you don't want in your poem. Since you cannot rearrange the words on the page, you have to choose where to start rather cautiously. If I had more readers, or a more-active readership, I'd...forget it, I'll ask anyway.

What I want from you, the reader, is to print out this blog post and create a redacted poem from it, then scan it (or take a picture of it) and send me the link. My e-mail is in the profile. I'll do it, too, and we can reconvene on 2 May, to solve yesterday's windmill.

And now, an inspirational quote I found while researching redacted poetry:

"A bystander asked an equestrian sculptor how he did it. The sculptor replied, 'I just chip away everything that doesn't look like a horse.' - Unknown"

Next!: My namesake!

1 comment:

  1. damnit- now you have me thinking on the weekend!
    I'll play.....my mind won't allow me to not.