|OLJ Poetry Form Challenge: Challenge #6 Results|
Erasure poems are always interesting because the source material does so much--and yet so little--to determine the end result. This week I was impressed by the variety of source materials you all used. I especially was fascinated by those of you who chose a poem as the source text! There's a lot of good-natured debate (and by "a lot" I mean "it comes up every once in a while amidst some circles I'm aware of") about this choice. The major arguments I've heard go something like this:
A: If you're using a poem, it's not so much an erasure as an edit.
B: Any erasure is an edit. You're taking a piece and condensing it into a poem.
A: But it's already a poem!
And so on. My ultimate conclusion for this argument is always something like this:
All life is already a poem--we're just pinching it into new form.
Now on to our winners. I say winners because erasure poetry is somewhat harder to "judge" than other forms because it's a form that's, arguably, more than poetic. Erasure started not as poetry but as art ... which means, for me at least, that it's not just looking at the content of the resulting poem but also looking at the restructuring of a source text into new art. When reading erasure poetry, some of you may have found yourselves looking less at the poetic content and more and the snaking and haphazard movement of words along a page. The poem becomes an artistic and literary form of Rorschach. All of this is a long way of saying that this week there was no one winner. Instead, I'd like to share a Rorschach journey with you. Look at all the pieces, see how each author picked out moments and pinches that struck them as important, how a page because less and then more familiar, and how each saw only what they wanted--or needed--to see.
Debi Swim's "New York"
De Jackson's "A Hitman Leaves"
Barbara Young's "A Random Column of Wilson Follett"
Marilyn Braendeholm's "The Wild Child"
Michelle Pond's "hooked on the blues"
J.lynn Sheridan's "Shake/Speared love"
Take a look ... What do you see?
Want to stay connected? I invite you to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please also sign up for the free email updates from Our Lost Jungle!