Whenever I get really really stressed, doing something creative always helps me unwind. With finals looming ahead, everyone might need a little literary study break! When you find yourself feeling frazzled, I encourage you to try some out some blackout poetry.
All you need is a loose newspaper article, a book page or a magazine you are willing to part with, and a sharpie! Your goal—create a brand new story using the existing text in front of you. To begin, glance down at the page and box in any phrases that for whatever reason, really strike you. Now, see if any of these phrases fit together. The catch? You can’t move any of the text and you still want the poem to read correctly from left to right. You can choose whether you want to make a broad story out of just "big" words like nouns, verbs, and adjectives or if you want to create a more coherent narrative using big words and little words like "is," "of," and "the" to move the story along. Once you have a stanza or two marked out, you are ready for the fun part! Blackout EVERYTHING ELSE on the page, and feel all of your angst instantly melt away. If you want to get super fancy, you can even create pictures on the page to match the feel of your brand new poem.
I love blackout poetry because you can create something uniquely your own that stems from writing that’s already out there. There is something special about finding secret messages in unlikely places, and I swear the entire process is ridiculously therapeutic.
Have fun & happy last week of classes!
Written by Ellie M.
R2: The Rice Review
Rice University's undergraduate literary magazine. Here you can find event updates, monthly writing contest winners, and opinions by the R2 staff on what's new, interesting, or subject to discussion in the literary and arts world.