Experiments in Extraction

Pressed for time at the end of this week (middle schoolers ready for Spring Break, me ready for vacation), I still wanted to give an erasure poem a try.  Big Tent Poetry suggested trying Wave Poetry, a site that encourages wordplay, including an interactive erasure feature.

I tried the exercise with a text called The History of Insects. Here is the result:



20 thoughts on “Experiments in Extraction

  1. Fascinating, how you got there from The History of Insects. As a teacher, this one tickled my fancy. I really like how you selected words and juxtaposed them with the title. Delightful.

  2. Wow, the result of your experiment is not simply a great poem, but a provocative commentary on children. As a teacher of elementary students, I can testify that they are indeed small wonders of human nature frighteningly distilled. Great poem!

  3. I could see us gravitating towards those words or meaning..I missed out the cruelty bit. Selectivity and difference is interesting!

  4. The erasure engine is handy, but their texts are pretty skimpy. I like your idea of picking up some spare books to despoil. (It’s yard sale season)
    I usually go to Photoshop and Proj Gutenberg

  5. Donna – I tried this too (thanks!) with strange/cool results. I’ll have to try to get a copy of it the same way you did. But anyway, I love the ‘erased’ poem you ended up with!

  6. Love the layout – it enhances the sequencing of the words by giving the whole piece a breathless feel, as if it’s a naturalist’s hushed, on-the-spot report of some new species. Very effective.

  7. This was wonderful! I love how it turned out. I didn’t think of copying the erasure image itself (probably because I didn’t fully use the erasure, just used it as a jumping off point)… this cut down to a perfect poem on children. Loved the last lines.

  8. Wonderful. Knowing it came from a text on insects and feeling it just had to be about mankind–I really enjoyed it and felt the spread out structure helped lure the reader into creating meaning.

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