Hello, all. Today marks the end of the third week of NaPoWriMo. We’re getting near the finish line now!

Today’s featured participant is Whimsygizmo, where the “I know” poem has a restless sort of melancholy, the sense of taking stock and summing up before continuing on.

And our poetry resource for the day is Leslie D.’s NaPoWriMo poet interviews. Blogger Leslie D. is not just writing poems each day for NaPoWrimo; she’s interviewing a poet every day!

Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is an old favorite – the erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact. I’ve been working on an erasure project that involves an old guide to rose-growing. Here’s an example of an original page, side-by-side with my “erased” page:

One easy way to get started is just to photocopy a page from a book or magazine, and black out words. Or you can copy a text into Microsoft Word, and turn the words you don’t want white. Erasures can feel almost like a game – carving new poems out of old texts like carving statues from blocks of marble — and so they take some of the anxiety out of writing. They can also lead to surprising new ideas, as the words of the original text are given new contexts.

Happy writing!


61 Responses to Day Twenty-One

  1. Bryan Ens says:

    just a “heads up”…today’s post does not have a title, thus making it a bit of a challenge to select just today’s post in order to comment (I got here by selecting yesterday’s post, and then clicking in “next post”…but there might be some who have more difficulty with this. Feel free to delete this comment once a title has been added.

  2. What an interesting prompt! Here’s mine: Just a Girl

  3. Wow! Honored and humbled to be featured today. Thank you!
    (Quick note: the link above leads to the most recent poem on my blog, and I’m doing various daily prompts. To get to NaPoWriMo day 20’s poem, you’ll need to scroll down to the poem entitled “I Know This Much Is True.”

    Also, hoping everybody finds how to post their amazing poems today. As Bryan said, there’s no direct link for today.

  4. […] Prompt #21 at NaPoWriMo – Erasure, and an inexplicably unsettling Ted Talk by the International Justice […]

  5. […] erasure poem for NaPoWriMo, day 21. Source text: “Hippos: The life force of African rivers.” Science Daily, April 14, […]

  6. […] “Persona poems” Wild Violet’s “R is for Repetition prompt” NaPoWriMo’s “Erasure prompt” Floodmark Poetry’s “Word List prompt” The Language Inside’s […]

  7. CC Champagne says:

    Not even sure I really wanted to post this (which is rare for me), so probably shouldn’t ask people to read it either… *sigh* Went with the FB NaPoWriMo prompt: https://ccchampagne.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/once-upon-a-time-unforgiven/

  8. […] NaPoWriMo.net prompt is to create an erasure poem, in which you take existing text and erase words to make a poem from […]

  9. Jim says:

    Today’s challenge will come with this one for linking purposes. That’s how I got here.

    I like Erasure Poems. I generally leave a copy of my source highlighted or underlined after or beside my poem. This way, photocopying after blacking out the discards sound good too.
    Not for today though, I here instead:

  10. Brittany M says:

    Here’s my poem “General Bongo Has an Opinion”


  11. […] NaPoWriMo prompt is to write an erasure (read more about it here). Here is what I came up with, followed by a copy of the original page. (Points if you know which […]

  12. […] This is also my Day 21 post for NaPoWriMo2015. […]

  13. Rain, Rain says:

    It took me this long to figure out how to get onto this page!
    Worth it, though. That was a fun one..

  14. Vince Gotera says:

    Here’s Wave Books cool site where you can choose source texts and make erasures from them very easily. http://erasures.wavepoetry.com/ I would suggest erasing the whole thing and then clicking to bring words back. Much easier to “write.”

  15. G Funk Dub says:

    I did erasure earlier this month! Took old hateful emails from my birth mom and tried to make them more beautiful

  16. […] A poem for day 21 of NaPoWriMo 2015: the erasure  […]

  17. inktuition says:

    Rather than follow today’s prompt to the letter (as I don’t like taking words from other places) I’ve been inspired to take ‘erasure’ in a bleak direction: http://inktuition.net/2015/04/21/erasure/

  18. VoR says:

    My erasure submission for today: http://vorpoetry.blogspot.com/2015/04/critiq-day-2130.html.

    I used this excellent site for source texts and to create the poem: http://erasures.wavepoetry.com/index.php.

    It’s a very interesting, useful site though i do wish they had more texts and that you could add excerpts yourself, would love to see a larger-scale idea of the concept.

  19. My erasure poem for today, ‘A Chronicler Without a Path’, takes an axe, or chisel, to Michiko Kakutani’s work. :p

  20. Laura says:

    This one gave me a lesson in photoshop along with the challenges erasure. Bonus!

  21. Yay! We’re almost finished. Laurel Regan is right, the prompt was a lot of fun. Here’s my response:
    “Turning Homer into Edgar Allan Poe”

  22. Vince Gotera says:

    Here’s my erasure poem and also my NaPoWriMo buddy Thomas Alan Holmes’s erasure poem.


  23. […] 21 of NaPoWriMo.  Today’s prompt was erasure poem.  I did one back in 2013.  Today’s poetry as Mary […]

  24. […] NaPoWriMo Day 21. An erasure poem.”Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is an old favorite – the erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact.” […]

  25. took a few tries to get something going but finally I went with my morning commute.


  26. […] the prompt for today over at NaPoWriMo.net.  It presents an “erasure” poem, in which words are […]

  27. Van Waffle says:

    Erasure is always a fun exercise. Here’s mine: Mystic, sourced from a section with that title in Carol Lloyd’s book, Creating a Life Worth living.

  28. Didn’t follow the prompt today, but I do want to try this in the near future. Today’s poem


  29. Colonialist says:

    Drat! I didn’t think of the ‘Next Post’ trick. Oh well, I’ll fix my post link, and now put this link (to one I would insist on rhyming!) here where it belongs:


  30. […] NaPoWriMo Day 21  challenge is to take snippets out of a page of something to make a poem.  I grabbed a random […]

  31. […] NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 21 was an erasure poem. I “erased” around these words from a booklet called Benedictine […]

  32. […] prompt for today is to create an erasure, which takes an already written text and blocks out words. I picked up the […]

  33. […] NaPoWriMo–Day 21–Blackout Poem […]

  34. […] Today’s prompt: An erasure poem! It occurs to me now that it would have been fun to just pick one of the many research articles on my computer and erase words. But maybe it would have ended up being a poem that goes like this: “Girls/reading/empowerment/gender/future”. Just kidding. […]

  35. […] Day 20’s optional prompt, to create an erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact. ~ via The NaPoWriMo Website […]

  36. I’ve actually been doing one of these poems every day along with my normal poems. It’s fun and does indeed make writing into a game.

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