So, I’ve been thinking about blackout poetry for quite a while. I’ve also been on my taxonomy project kick for this school year. (The taxonomy project is where I make sets of works of some kind. I have chosen to make sets of 5.) These two interests have proven to be a good combination. This time around I decided to add some other elements to the poems: embroidery, little plastic shapes made with the 3D Doodler (it’s like a hand-held 3D printer that really is better if you stick with 2D), and/or some pictures.
First up, adding in a little sewing to the poem and keeping some surrounding images from the original pages.
New York Panorama
Can you dance
during the week, for a few beats
it’s a time before it vanishes.
With this poem, I added the red stitching for emphasis and even added words, which I had not expected to do. However, I think it works well and adds to the overall effect.
not about the
Then, I tried incorporating some designs made with the 3D Doodler. This first design began as an image that I made separately, but I later noticed it worked with the poem.
The seven story building
has been reimagined
an eccentric friend
gave you a key.
The designs in the next two works were done right on the newspaper, after some testing on other paper, and were created specifically for the poems. First up: Spotlight.
The book fanatic
and resident documentarian
the chief researcher
And finally, this one.
Since it is called “Ghosts: A City Below Ground” I thought I would use the grayish plastic for the 3D Doodler pictures. Then, it turned out it was also glow-in-the-dark, even better. Each building is numbered and the text in that building is to be read top to bottom before moving on to the next.
Ghosts: A city below ground
S. wearing a suit and tie,
dig a whole anywhere.
Again, no poetry prizes here, but I really enjoyed thinking about what else to bring to the poems. It made me consider the relative merit of literal or more abstract images, design, grouping, and organization. In addition, after the first go round, I only had 3 poems with added visuals. So, having set my goal for a taxonomy group at 5, I went back to some other poems I had and consider how to embellish them. In the process, I worked on another one or two totally new poems and ditched one of the original 3. This does not represent a huge time investment, but it does represent some time spent thinking differently than I might ordinarily think. And that is something to make time for whenever I can.