I remember in the mid-1980s doing blackout poetry (as it is now called — also known as found poetry, poetry in prose, or altered prose) with my school friends after learning about it from an English teacher. I’ve been a lover of words for as long as I can remember, but somehow I forgot about that fun hobby over the years. Recently I rediscovered it thanks to this beautiful thing called the world wide web and so I grabbed my old falling-apart 50¢ paperback of The Scarlet Letter and started playing around again with these wordly treasure hunts after nearly three decades. And what a good time I’m having. Here’s a photo of what I ended up with on the first page of Chapter 1; it turned out to be a gardening theme — “Women of happiness rule the soil.”
The problem with blackout poetry is the destruction of books which of course makes me cringe, but I’m intending to leave my books intact and not literally blackout any words so that the books are slowly turned into readable art. Some people make a copy of the page instead of modifying the actual book, which seems like a good idea as well.
This pastime is such a fulfilling creative outlet. To all the authors whose works I end up modifying, I offer sincerest of advance apologies. I will try my darnedest to create new written art without disrespecting your original words (too much).