Haiku #7

As an alternative means of capturing my thoughts and reflections, I write haiku about my teaching practice. This is the seventh post in the series.

A few years ago I was at a book fair and learned about blackout poetry. It’s a form of poetry where the poet takes an article or other piece of writing and removes — or blacks out — a bunch of its text. The words that remain after all of the crossing out is the resulting “blackout poem.”

I’ve never written blackout poetry, but I find the idea fascinating and want to create some not using newspaper or magazine articles, but my blogposts. Since I’ve been into haiku for awhile, why not double up and make my first few blackout poems haiku? My blog, my rules!

To play off the syllabic structure of haiku (5-7-5), I will attempt to write three “blackout haiku” using my 5th, 12th (5+7), and 17th (5+7+5) blog posts. This post features my 5th blog post, which I published on September 14, 2014. It details a classroom economy that I have long since abandoned, but still think is pretty interesting. Here is my blackout of the post:

My resulting “blackout” haiku:

find the little things
earn love, tally how much sums
no tax to mimic

I really appreciated the process, but subtracting that much text to get down to 17 syllables was surprisingly hard. You would think that you would have so much to choose from that’d it be easy! No, no, no. There was lots of combing through, counting, simplifying my ideas, and then recounting. Despite the challenge, the simplicity and structure of haiku is why I’m drawn to it, so I guess that’s why I getting rid of so much text. Food for thought: I was conflicted on whether I wanted the poem to reflect a compact version of the original blogpost or be something independent, which is what it turned out to be. It would have been interesting to go the other route.


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