Chance Poetry

I recently had a blah day where I just couldn’t seem to settle on what to do in studio. It all felt a bit stale. I happened on a booster that definitely challenged me: blackout poetry.  Find an old book, one that you don’t mind removing pages from. As you flip through it scan the pages for words that catch your eye. Pencil a rectangle around them and see if a poem appears. you might start with one word and end up dropping it for another as the poem emerges. Once you have your poem, use a fine point marker to corral the words and then blackout the rest of the writing on the page. Just like a government censored report. And VOILA!, the result is a new poem that has a sculptural feel to the page. Not all pages will yield a poem, and after a few pages you can get fatigued from trying to avoid the story plot while word searching. But there are some real gems out there, poems no one saw when they read the book, poems that were just waiting to be unearthed, a poem you unearthed! As it is April and poetry month, I have included a couple that I did so you can see the results before striking out on your own. I hope you enjoy them!



7 thoughts on “Chance Poetry

  1. aloha RKB665. wow. these you’ve come up with are gems. I like this process and you’ve explained it well, in a way I have not seen in detail as a process, only seeing the results from time to time.

    I’m familiar with this technique because similar things are done in altered books, which I like too. the pages there remaining in the book of course.

    I’ve thought about using this technique in a digital form. that is, scanning the page into my computer then searching and blacking out in photoshop. I may have to give this a try today as I’m not keen on the (optional) prompt for today (altho I’ve been attempting the prompts to some degree even when they have not appealed to me).

    way fun and way cool on an alternate direction today for my NaPoWriMo contribution, thank you, we’ll see what happens. fun. aloha.

    • Rick, It is fun to try these, and sometimes the frustration at pagae after page of dud helps find the reward. It does eat up markers, especially on the old book pages! I gave some away at my last open studios and people seemed to enjoy looking for the one that spoke to them.

      • ha, yeah I can understand the marker issue. I’ve seen it done without the total black out you achieve in these so the other words can be read as well altho not as easily as the chosen few.

        I get excited by ideas like this and want to jump into them immediately. which I may well do. altho it is 3:30 AM at the moment. ha. sometimes a good idea has to be turned over in the moment for me. fun. finding the right page. . . . is another story in itself. altho I have my own ideas about how the page may end up too. way. fun. on that. aloha

  2. Pingback: Altered Book Page: Found Poetry Haiku; White Kitten ~ For NaPoWriMo Day 15 | A 19 Planets Art Blog 2010/2013

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