Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt sounded like a lot of fun:
And now, the (optional) prompt. This one’s a bit tricky, but I’ve used it to good effect in the past — and it’s the sort of thing you can do over and over again. Back in 1977, the poet Ronald Johnson first published RADI OS, an “erasure” of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Basically, Johnson took a copy of Milton’s long poem, and systematically erased whole words and even lines, while maintaining the relative position of the remaining words. You can see a brief excerpt here.
An ‘erasure’ poem. I thought this one would be easy-breezy, but it’s actually much more difficult than it seems. It took me many tries to come up with something half decent. And I’m still not entirely happy with it. I decided to work on a poem by horror fiction God H.P. Lovecraft, Despair. Lovecraft, for as much as he came to be regarded as one of the best (if not the best) writers of horror fiction, has always been a notoriously bad poet. Though, poor soul, he did try, again and again. So I thought I might give one of his poems a “post-modern face-lift”, so to speak. Here’s my lame attempt at it (I scanned the copy that I worked on, so as to preserve the initial format):