Poetry Blackout!

Updated: Feb 15


This week our writing activity was a speedy version of Blackout prose which, after only allowing two minutes for the exercise, produced some great results.

Blackout prose is created by taking a piece of text and blacking out all but a few isolated words and phrases which are then written out, in order, as a poem – see worksheet 02 for a proper set of instructions.


What amazed me was how these sounded when read aloud. The words, after being pulled and isolated from the main body of text seemed to latch onto their lonely counterparts all by themselves (or was it not random at all, and more to do with our own subconscious choices?). Then we, as readers instinctively and naturally applied inflections of tone and accent to help foster some sort of alternate meaning.


Liz’s chosen text generated a great blackout poem which got us all giggling. It was a letter written by Charles Dickens about the unfortunate passing of his talking raven, Grip (who inspired the character of the same name in Barnaby Rudge).



Sue’s smashing theme of ‘Trees’ went down very well, and some beautiful instant drafts were created in just a couple of minutes. Even though they were all completely different, the perception of a tree as a sentient being (well said Simon) came through in all of them.

We then finished our lovely evening with readings of well-crafted poems written by Simon and Freda – thank you for sharing them with us.


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