Even More Thoughts on Erasure Poetry: port on

FullSizeRenderThis erasure (sorry about the quality, by the way) was intended to be part of my report on form, but I wasn’t able to get to it then, so I thought I’d put it up in a blog post. Because this erasure was originally just supposed to be a quick demonstration of how any material can be used in erasure poetry, I didn’t go into this with an overarching vision of what I wanted the poem to be, so each of the steps that became the stanzas were erased in isolation. If there’s something that I would say that I was trying to do, though, it would be to subvert the intention of the original author by, as well as I could with the words I was given, reversing Lytton’s instructions. The step that told us to think about form in ways other than would be obvious, which I turned into “think about form / form    would be / obvious.” Instead of considering finer points of form, the poem dismisses the question of form entirely as something obvious. Instead of the larger sense of poetry that the sheet originally asks for, the new poem asks for the reader to “offer a            help us / give us a        one poem.” Generally, I think I was trying to unsettle the assured tone of an assignment whose questions act to instruct its intended reader on how to do something and turn it into something whose questions feel more abstract and asked of the reader because the speaker itself is unsure both of the answers and what it should be considering in the first place.

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