28 January 2012

Erasure poetry

There is actually a genre called erasure poetry, says Wikipedia, is a form of found poetry created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem. The results can be allowed to stand in situ or they can be arranged into lines and/or stanzas.

Among its examples it includes Jen Bervin's Shakespeare sonnets, Nets -
Doris Cross's dictionary columns (1956) were among the first examples. 'Doris Cross starts her work with columns from a 1913 Webster's dictionary. She then adds and subtracts elements using pencil and white paint, simultaneously creating and excavating meaning from the once-neutral pages of words and definitions. "Found words then comprise the statement" Cross writes in her opening statement, "words as objects, textures, movements, spaces, sounds; words supporting words, even as a column is built of mortar and stones." '
Other examples are Janet Holmes' The    ms of m y kin (poems of Emily Dickinson)-

But the practice of erasure was most famously realised by the British artist Tom Phillips in his book A Humument and later, by the American poet Ronald Johnson, who erased Milton's Paradise Lost into a book called Radi os.
Version held at Patrick Spencer Library, University of  Kansas
See more work by yet more people here. Probably the earliest example is Man Ray's untitled work of 1924 (found here) -
It looks easy, it looks fun - perhaps too many people are doing it - or perhaps erasure poetry is a good way to get people involved with manipulating language.

2 comments:

Sociedad de Diletantes, S.L. y Casilda García Archilla said...

Here, Marcel Broothaers, "Un coun de des.."

http://www.google.es/search?s%3Fhl=es&cp=32&gs_id=83&xhr=t&q=Marcel%20Broothaers%20Un%20coup%20de%20d%C3%A9s&safe=off&biw=1280&bih=674&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&noj=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=es&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=UYwlT7j5CoPpOZbwjcgI

Sociedad de Diletantes, S.L. y Casilda García Archilla said...

Pardon: the book´s title is "Un coup de des..."