You've probably heard of erasure poems. They're created by taking a text - any text, really - and erasing or blacking out most of the poem's text. It's a form of found poetry which became popular in the new millennium, especially for political poetry. It's an excellent form for this function, as you can take a text and comment on or subvert it by extracting your own message. It's not a necessarily contradictory form, though, and you can use erasure poetry as you would any other form.
You can create erasure poetry yourself fairly easily with a black pen and a newspaper or magazine. You can also use a web app, which is good if you're indecisive, like me. A professor of poetry at my university directed me to the Wave Books erasure website, and I can recommend it. There's a limited selection, but they're all fascinating, and you can do really anything with any passage. I used an Aristophanes passage, which you can see at the above link, and made it about the sapphic agenda. This website is great because you can erase and bring back words and punctuation at will. It's a circular and fascinating process, and I recommend it highly. (alt text at the bottom of the article.)
Now is the time for a confession - this website uses pseudonyms. And don't worry, the irony of being called Kali but going by Sekhmet is not lost on me. I wanted to separate the poet from the rest of the things I do here, like writing these articles, or reviewing submissions. It's like an inverted pen name. There was no rule for this, or for deities, but who doesn't want to go by something like that? It's a blessing and a curse.
As you can see above, the Wave Books app lets you see what you've erased, and keeps the passage's original structure. This, of course, is a matter of preference, and I encourage you to look for other digital methods. I personally prefer to retain structure, the modernesque staggering adding to the energy of the piece, but it would also be easy to transcribe into another document. I did it for the alt text, which you can find below the cut. For all the confinements of form, there are still many stylistic choices to be made.
And as for the moon? Well, I stand by what I said.
Image Alt Text -
We had the Moon
all of an evening
the moonlight on you
by us gods of
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