Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Erasure? Sure! – Personal Challenge for Hannah

Yay!! I was picked and here’s the challenge…

Björn says, “I want you to present a piece of erasure poetry. The idea is simple – take a book page – provided by me. Then by erasing everything but the words needed for your poem present it (together with a picture of your book-page). As an additional (which should be easy for you) the poem should have an autumn theme).  So print it out and black out all the words that are not part of your poem J. The words have to be used in the exact order that they appear in the text.

I didn't actually print it out because the gremlins got into my printer but I used my writing program and highlighted in black. Unfortunately, you can still see the original text through the highlighting but actually, some might be interested to read the context, (a page from Bleak House), from which I’ve carved this poem.

I hope you enjoy it…I certainly did! Thank you for the challenge, Björn.

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time—as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look.
The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln's Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.
Never can there come fog too thick, never can there come mud and mire too deep, to assort with the groping and floundering condition which this High Court of Chancery, most pestilent of hoary sinners, holds this day in the sight of heaven and earth.
On such an afternoon, if ever, the Lord High Chancellor ought to be sitting here—as here he is—with a foggy glory round his head, softly fenced in with crimson cloth and curtains, addressed by a large advocate with great whiskers, a little voice, and an interminable brief, and outwardly directing his contemplation to the lantern in the roof, where he can see nothing but fog. On such an afternoon some score of members of the High Court of Chancery bar ought to be—as here they are—mistily engaged in one of the ten thousand stages of an endless cause, tripping one another up on slippery precedents, groping knee-deep in technicalities, running their goat-hair and horsehair warded heads against walls of words and making a pretence of equity with serious faces, as players might. On such an afternoon the various solicitors in the cause, some two or three of whom have inherited it from their fathers, who made a fortune by it, ought to be—as are they not?—ranged in a line, in a long matted well (but you might look in vain for truth at the bottom of it) between the registrar's red table and the silk gowns, with bills, cross-bills, answers, rejoinders, injunctions, affidavits, issues, references to masters, masters' reports, mountains of costly nonsense, piled before them. Well may the court be dim, with wasting candles here and there; well may the fog hang heavy in it, as if it would never get out; well may the stained-glass windows lose their colour and admit no light of day into the place; well may the uninitiated from the streets, who peep in through the glass panes in the door, be deterred from entrance by its owlish aspect and by the drawl, languidly echoing to the roof from the padded dais where the Lord High Chancellor looks into the lantern that has no light in it and where the attendant wigs are all stuck in a fog-bank! This is the Court of Chanc-


This is my compiled and titled version...probably easier to read. :)

Autumn Afternoon
Looming fog in streets,
sun from fields seen by boy.
Light before time – seems to know.
Look
raw afternoon
near that Temple
at the very heart of fog,
fog thick, mud and mire
deep –
hold this day in sight
heaven and earth
an afternoon sitting here
glory softly fenced with crimson
addressed by a little voice,
brief and direct.
Lantern can see on such an afternoon
mistily engaged an endless tripping –
running horse…
walls of words play on an afternoon inherited.
Fortune in a well
(look for truth at the bottom),
red silk owns answers –
mountains piled.
Candles here and there stain windows
and light of day may initiate from streets;
through glass panes entrance by owl
and languid echoing…
the lantern has light in it
and fog. 


I'm looking forward to picking on someone for the next challenge - so keep an eye on your inboxes Toads! 

There isn't a Mr. Linky today but if anyone is inspired by this challenge and wants to play, please feel free to leave a link to your blog below or paste an offering in the comments.

Have a wonderful day Garden Dwellers! 


14 comments:

Jim said...

I love it, Hannah. I like bleak house too. But it was one of those that I could take forever reading, and I almost did (take all that time).
I like 'doing' erasure poems. Perhaps I'll write one for you. But it won't match your good work here. I am glad that you made good use of the fog and the early darkness. London uses an awfully lot of artificial light.
I am a little boy at heart, a pretty fog is light to me, a "bright day."
..

Jim said...

http://jimmiehov6.blogspot.com/search?q=Erasure

Björn Rudberg said...

I like this very much Hannah, and I knew you would raise to the challenge and do an excellent job. Doing such a great job of revamp Bleak House (and like Jim says -- it's a book that takes time to read). You both kept the spirit of the autumn dirge and recreated something more hopeful in the autumn fog.. Well done, and now I hope you do a great job of finding a challenge for the next toad :-)

Marian said...

wow, impressive. and fun! if bleak and foggy :)

Mama Zen said...

Fabulous job, Hannah! I find these nearly impossible to do.

manicddaily said...

Ah lovely! Great job and great choice of text too. Thanks to you both. Love the fog in the lantern--describes it perfectly. k.

Susie Clevenger said...

So beautiful Hannah. You have crafted such a gorgeous piece through erasure. I am with Mama Zen on how difficult these are for me to do.

Gina said...

What an extremely fun challenge. Your results were fantastic. Love the idea of erasure!

Hannah said...

Thank you all so much for your comments and thank you, Bjorn for the challenge...it was challenging and it was definitely fun. I always enjoy puzzling combinations of words!

:)

Grace said...

This is a gem Hannah ~ I find this process to be very challenging and for you to patiently unravel a new found poem is amazing ~ Cheers ~

Morella La Muerte said...

That was hard! I had to bash away at it a couple of times before I was satisfied with the result.
You did a good job!
http://poetryofthenetherworld.blogspot.com/2014/11/fictional-creations.html

Kerry O'Connor said...

Dickens certainly had a magical way with words and you have created your own stellar combinations and told a new story here, Hannah. I really enjoyed both narrative and mood of the piece.

Margaret said...

The original poem seems quite despondent to me - your poem quite uplifting and lovely. I like erasure best when it gives a whole new identity to a poem - and you did it quite well! And what a glorious photo.

Ella said...

Wow, Hannah! This is a tough form and you illuminated it and made it glow!

Bravo!