As I focus more on writing poetry, I’m devouring poems by great writers past and present. I’m currently reading:
This week I also added The Steal Like an Artist Journal by Austin Kleon to my list. He’s a brilliant Creative who astonishes me by his way of encouraging artists of all mediums to delve into artistic bins of untapped ideas and brilliance.
Each page is an exercise to stretch the grey matter to its limits of reality and see things through a different lens. One such exercise is the ‘Black-Out’ approach to writing poetry. An exercise I’ve found most intriguing. I wanted to share my ‘stolen’ discovery with you.
Here’s what he asks of the reader on this particular page:
“Black out one word at a time until you are left with a poem.”
He gives a writing sample to practice on in case you don’t have anything handy but I write mostly Scripture-inspired poetry so I chose to black-out a passage from the book of Revelation.
Revelation 3:15-18, New International Version (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Here are the words that spoke to me–
Deeds cold hot
Rich wealth need.
Gold refined in
Even without any revising I think this is a solid start to a good poem.
Have you tried this method?
Let me know in the comments.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.
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