What tool do you use to write a poem? Some people use a pencil, others use a pen, still others might use a paint brush, chalk, charcoal, or even magnets to create a new poem.  But did you know that there are some poets who actually use erasers to write their poems?  Yes, they do and these poets are called redactive poets, which means  poets who edit, cross-out, or erase words from existing poems, or stories so that they can make new poems. The new redacted poems should be very different from the original writing.

Let’s look at some examples of how one might create a redacted poem.

Let’s use the well-known Nursery Rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, which reads as follows:

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Next we will look for words to cross out or erase —

(The cat and the) fiddle,
(The cow jumped over) the moon,
(The little dog) laugh (ed to see such sport,)
(And the dish) ran away (with the spoon.)

And we create a new redacted poem

the moon,
ran away

If you want you might add your own words to this redacted poem to make it even better.

We fiddle
the moon
laugh away!

Isn’t that easy and fun? And by adding a title you may make your new poem even better.

Happy Summer Evening

We fiddle
the moon
laugh away!

Now it is your turn to try to write your own poem by erasing or crossing out words.  Try using a paragraph or two from the newspaper, a magazine, or even an advertising flyer.  If you come up with a poem you like, please share it with the Magic Dragon.