To My Son

The Knife, Chapter 6, Page 16

Last week we celebrated our second Annual Party on the Deck for Wednesday Afternoon Writers. It’s fun to see that we are still together and writing with fervor. What started as an invitation to friends to join me to write once a month on their choice of any Wednesday afternoon, has turned into a group of lovely people who make it their goal to come every week. We write from a prompt, share and laugh. We even win contests! Niki Kessinger was the winner for her story of exactly 100 words at 100WordStory.com.

At our party we ate and laughed and, of course, wrote. I was recently inspired by Wave Books and their Erasure poems. I visited the Gutenberg Project and chose a handful of classic texts. Each writer choose the title that interested them and went about writing an erasure poem.  See my blog post Great or Small for an explanation and my first erasure poem. Here is my poem taken from the text Paper Cutting Machine, The Knife, Chapter 6, page 16, the opening paragraph.
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To My Son
Most important
be sharp,
be of proper temper.

Correctly pull the beard.
Study carefully.

No matter how imperfect,
in spite of rigorous temper,
character honing
varies
and variations cause trouble.

Great or Small

What fun! On my favorite Thursday romp today,  This Week’s Top 10 Poetic Picks, Kimberly Conway Ireton of Tweetspeak Poetry shared a link to Wave Books and their  Erasure Poetry page. Wave  supplies source texts to choose from and when you click on the word from the text, it disappears. Actually it fades. By clicking on it again, it pops back up. You could play for hours.

Of course, I had to try this. I love using given or found words to make a poem. Here is mine. The original text follows at the end.

 

Great or Small
Small

Contemptible this class of beings
yet
carefully investigate
and discover
buzzes in the meadow

Or imagine
myriads too small
and each
made of parts
by which they retain wisdom

Under the Almighty
they are capable
every creature
great or small

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Source text: The History of Insects by Unknown

However small and contemptible this class of beings may appear, at first thought, yet when we come to select, and carefully investigate, we shall be struck with wonder and astonishment, and shall discover, that the smallest gnat that buzzes in the meadow, it as much of a subject of admiration as the largest elephant that ranges the forest, or the hugest whale which ploughs the deep; and when we consider the least creature that we can imagine, myriads of which are too small to be discovered without the helps of glasses, and that each of their bodies is made up of different organs or parts, by which they receive or retain nourishment, &c. with the power of action how natural the exclamation. “O Lord, how manifold are they works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.” Under these considerations, that they are the work of the same great, good, and Almighty hand that formed us, and that they are all capable of feeling pleasure and pain, surely every little child, as well as older person, ought carefully to avoid every kind of cruelty to any kind of creature, great or small.