Blackout Poetry

The witch of Portobello
last week was a quiet one for me, it was a time of reflection so I spent my days reading poetry and having a play with my own Blackout Poetry.
So, what is Blackout Poetry? This style of Poetry requires you to have an old book and a marker pen. You then find a page within that book and begin to circle words you like. Once you have picked your words (or small sentences) you blackout the rest of the page, leaving the circled words to form a short poem. This is a beautiful and simple way of introducing someone to poetry, using it in Art sessions and for TEFL teachers who want to make their vocabulary lessons more creative. Marker pens are not the only equipment you can use, you can opt to include Biro pens of different colours, paint, crayon and collage art to Blackout your pages, the ideas are endless.

I was going to buy a book from a charity shop (so that I don’t destroy my own books), but by chance someone had left a few books by the side of the road, (I’m guessing in the hope individuals might pick them up?) and I had seen they left a dogeared copy of “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho in this pile of books, I read this novel years ago and loved it, so it was destiny to have this disheveled tome and so I took it home.

Here are a few samples of Blackout Poetry I have created so far. I hope to complete the entire book and perhaps leave it somewhere for someone else to find as a public art piece or as a gift to inspire them to take up Blackout Poetry or do something else with it entirely? What I love about this form of poetry is how nonsensical it is, it really allows you to be playful with the English language and tap into your inner child, it is perhaps a great activity to do with children too.
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