Erasure poem about mammals

Dear Friends,

I’ve “made” an erasure poem and you’ll see it down below.

After I made it, I went looking for another example on-line and I am rather distressed to find the amazing work of of Mary Ruefle at this interesting site.  I’m a bit distressed because her work makes mine look so …wee and humble.  But I’m glad I found her. There much scope for the imagination with this form.

Oh! And her own web site is here!

Anyway…here’s mine:

erasure poem by ee nobbs

Note: I chose to use a constraint, and that constraint was that I would choose every 8th word. And then I used those words to make a poem. Ironically the original section of text was about mammals, but the word mammals got erased out – but perhaps that’s rather fitting, because at the time, he’s discussing, mammals were still wee and inconspicuous and at the margins of things.

A text of the history written by HG Wells is online here. And other places.

Here’s our mammalian ancestor from a long, long time ago, and new info.

(very) early mammal

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your work and the interesting links, Ellie. You’re brave to experiment like this and to show your workings – this makes the post very helpful to others (me included!). I have a completely different experience, quite an unsettling one, reading poems like this rather than more ‘formal’ poems. i enjoyed popping in to your blog today.

  2. And thank you, Josephine, for commenting.

    And, yes, I agree – these sorts of procedural poems are unsettling to read, but awfully good fun to write 🙂 Perhaps they’re unsettling because a reader has to decide in what way, if any, they can respond to it. What associations they can make. The weird thing for me when writing it, was wondering if a reader would associate any emotions with it. Working with the source text, and then making decisions on the look for the “new” poem, I felt various things, but I doubted they’d come across to a reader (what I felt) unless I gave them some background – which I did. So it does feel like stepping into the dark…

    I got lots of inspiration (including some sections on Experimental Poetry) from the ModPo course run through Coursera last year. It will be run again in September. It’s great. https://www.coursera.org/course/modernpoetry

    Elly

  3. This kind of poem gives me the feeling that language has a life of its own! That is a very interesting experiment and I like what she said about being a triangle and having to hit the note at the right moment. Thanks

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