Erasure Poetry:

I do things with Words…

April is National Poetry Month (or “NaPoMo,” as all those crazy poets call it). And, at heart, I am a poet. Actually, I think that I’m technically a writer, or maybe just a blooger…well, I am whatever word you want to use for a semi-creative person who likes to do things with words.

Anyways, I lack the time and commitment to be a part of my university’s Poem-A-Day email list. But I managed to get a few erasure poems done a few weeks ago, so I thought that I would share them for NaPoMo.

Below you will find the following:

  1. The title of the poem
  2. The poem (in all its glorious glory)
  3. A typed version of the poem (I don’t have the best scanner, so they may be a bit hard to read. You can click on them to make them larger).
  4. A little sketch by Jolene (that’s me).

Once you finish, you should make one yourself and send it to me (who doesn’t like getting creative poetry from random people?). Maybe we’ll start a whole movement! Picture it: people shoving erasure poems into strangers’ mailboxes, placing them under an unsuspecting person’s windshield wipers, leaving them in library books…we should totally do this.

But I’ll organize my Erasure Poem Movement in another post. For now, on to the poems…

Calm After the Storm

erasure poem 3

but have
a heart
for something

The image is “Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais. Any who are familiar with Shakespeare’s Hamlet will recognize this as Ophelia’s death scene. Shortly after being driven mad, Ophelia drowns while picking flowers. The audience is not privy to her death scene, but Millais was kind enough to give us a glimpse of what Shakespeare omitted. Many have written about  Millais’ depiction far more eloquently than I ever could, you can find a short and beautiful discussion of the picture here.

I think that too much explanation can ruin a poem. But I also think that it is fun to have a glimpse into another person’s thoughts. So my discussion will be brief: I think Ophelia is a person who is overwhelmed and oppressed by the people that surround her. I think Millais’ tragic depiction shows her awaiting an escape. My poem responds to these ideas.

Life With Sunflowers

erasure poem 1

Him he
Had no
This only.

I love Vincent van Gogh. It is hard to describe my passion for his art. Mostly, it’s because I find it so difficult to separate the art from the artist. That is not true in all cases. In fact, it’s only true for van Gogh. I think that the tragedy of his life brings his colors to life. His paintings so often depict the hope and the beauty that can (at times) shine in this dreary world. So knowing that he committed suicide and that, in the end, he couldn’t see the brilliant colors…

I’ll just leave off. You can read about his work here.

Following Lines

erasure poem 2

Ceaseless seasons,
Following lines,
Cold summer.
The care of
The last time
The carriage
The grey sky
Early memory,
Physical mental,
Two years moving on.
15th birthday
Backbreaking reality

This is another by van Gogh. It hangs on my wall alongside “Sunflowers.” I think that the juxtaposition is sad, and beautiful. Unfortunately, the two paintings aren’t beside one another in reality. “Sunflowers” is in The National Gallery in London. I’ve no idea where these sketches are. If there was ever an apocalypse, I would go to the National Gallery to get “Sunflowers.”

Maybe you can meet me there…we’ll defend it together.

2 thoughts on “Erasure Poetry:

  1. Pingback: I F*cking Love Science, but I F*cking Hate Plagiarism…Here’s Why | CreightonCreation

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