Poetry, sorrow, Writing

My first erasure poem

I’m attending the Association of Writers and Writing Programs 2022 Conference and it’s been extremely inspirational.

Today, I learned of a medium I didn’t know existed: erasure poetry. It’s creating a poem by deleting words from any published text: newspaper articles, ad flyers, etc.

Erasure poetry, also known as blackout poetry, is a form of found poetry wherein a poet takes an existing text and erases, blacks out, or otherwise obscures a large portion of the text, creating a wholly new work from what remains.
I decided to try my hand using another poem. One night, when my late husband and I were dating, I read him “Love Is Not All,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It has always been one of my favorites. He lived in Minnesota then. On a late night flight to spend the weekend with me in Michigan, he decided to surprise me by memorizing the poem. Needless to say, I married him. My friend recited it (by heart) at our wedding.
Erasing letters and words from the original results in how I often feel now that he’s gone.

Here’s the original.

Love Is Not All - Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.