The past year has been difficult for many people. The pandemic, the politics, the job loss and the isolation — most Americans have had to find some new coping mechanisms to make it through. Here’s one: erasure poetry.
Creativity can be healing in difficult times, but it’s not always easy to tap into those creative juices. Sometimes you’re just too overwhelmed and exhausted to write or create. In those times, turning to found poetry — a style of poetry in which you write something new using only what you can find in an existing text — can help.
Sometimes when it’s hard to write, that constraint gives you a place to start. It’s a bit like a painter working with a limited palette: You have both a solid foundation from which to begin your poem, and the challenge to create something using only what you have in front of you. And even if you’re having difficulty writing traditionally constructed poetry, the medium of found poetry can let you gain access to a vocabulary you didn’t know you needed.
Among the forms of found poetry is erasure. The writer finds something new to say in an existing text; in this case,