Erasure poetry: Stranded

Here’s my second attempt at Erasure Poetry which is a type of Found Poetry. My first attempt was just an abridgement of the text!

I have used the text from ‘The Voyage Out‘, the first novel by Virginia Woolf fromΒ It’s a useful website with a number of interesting texts (and poems derived from them), to practice erasure poetry. I don’t know how much I’ll pursue this particular form but I have tried another way of jumpstarting my creativity by fusing free-write and found poetry which was rather fun (poem: Ramble On! Sing That Song!).

Poem: Stranded

Stranded, an erasure poem (c) Sam Rappaz
Stranded, an erasure poem (c) Sam Rappaz (I noticed a couple of punctuation errors here. Oops!)

The sun down, dusk at the
hours to kill-
coffee and cigarettes,
unusually dull.

Plump animals
had been fed
their silence
in the lion-house,
hippopotamuses, swine, some loathsome reptiles–

Glance fixed
points at you
whichever way
you approach
them, that fixed
attention too far
to hear.


Original text:

Passage from 'The Voyage Out' by Virginia Woolf used for erasure poetry.
Passage from ‘The Voyage Out’ by Virginia Woolf.


Day 9: Prompt-Landscape; Form-Found poetry; Device-Enumeratio (let’s just call it ‘Catalogue’, shall we?)



46 thoughts on “Erasure poetry: Stranded

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  1. Thanks for sharing an example and discussion of this fascinating technique. (I am now tempted to try making erasure poetry out of the lyrics of songs by Erasure.) Since you don’t seem to want to take credit for it, might I ask from where, or from whom, you found out about it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard about Erasure poetry from a classmate in my poetry class, who also gave me the link to the website I’ve mentioned in the post. There’s also a blogger here on WP who I’ve seen use it: Adam Byatt (search term: Blackout poetry).

      As for the lyrics-based poem it’s my own invention. The idea just came to me one day when I wanted to write a poem but I had no words except the lyrics of songs that had been playing on my Spotify playlist. I look forward to your take on it.


    2. Ah! I think I misunderstood your thought on making an erasure poem out of song lyrics. I thought you were referring to the link I posted about my found poem from song lyrics (not made by erasure). I’m sorry about that. Your idea would lead to some fascinating poems I’m sure. I look forward it.


  2. Bonjour!! Mon Ami.
    If there is someone whom i wanna meet in person from the blogging world then its’ you. Yes. you have heard it right it’s “SAM RAPPAZ”:) The kinda command you have over the language and vocabulary is just amazing:) You are an inspiration for me:) (y). And i mean it sam:)
    Me gusta.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Upen! Thank you for such a heartfelt wish. I am truly honoured that you would consider me worth meeting when there are so many talented voices (better than me) here on WP. I am happy to have you as a loyal reader and we inspire each other. Cheers πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Desley πŸ™‚ I am happy to share all the quirky creative writing ideas I come across. The response has always been heartwarming. And, I’m always surprised afterwards that it helped/mattered to people. I am enjoying this. xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it Mike. It’s interesting to not hear the author and see the words just as they are, and surprisingly this actually made me appreciate the text and its author even more
      I look forward to your poem.


  3. I wanted to say many things… However, speechless… Want to say awesome… But, that’s too a small word in front of your work. Keep up the good work my dear friend. Love to you ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve not come across this before, and you’ve done well with it, but I can’t really see the point. There was a game we played as boys called ‘book cricket’, where letters, symbols and numbers in texts were converted to wickets, ways of getting out, byes, runs, etc. Not that that is at all relevant to your effort, but it made me think of this. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose it’s to do with seeing a new poem or symbol inside a block of text. It can be quite shocking and it changes how we remember these texts. One of the most famous books with such poems being “Nets” by Jen Bervin where she erases Shakespeare’s sonnets.
      Also, I played book cricket in school during “free periods” – was so much fun! We had pages in our “rough notebook” dedicated to these matches. πŸ˜€ Thank you for reminding me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely forgot the part about it being found poetry!! This is DEFINITELY on my to do list. I’m a day behind though 😦 and time isn’t on my side. Tomorrow I have a date with erasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem! I missed a couple of “days” because the forms need more work (ballad; ode). I’ve written odes before on this site and I’ve been practicing the devices for these “days” (anaphora;apostrophe) in different forms so I thought it better to not bother for now. πŸ™‚
      I look forward to your erasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The picture drew me in, Its a really clever form and looks so so appealing. It came out really nicely. Erasure you say scribbles into his journal Nice work Sam. I love that your experimenting.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So the words are there. It’s like carving out a nice ornament. The whole body of stone or wood is there hiding a story, a thousand stories for all we know, and you just whittle out yours.

        Liked by 1 person

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