Archive for March 8th, 2021

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Erasure Poem, “Every Letter is a Love Letter” by Jennifer Sinor, The American Scholar, Spring 2021

I was fascinated by the article in The American Scholar by Jennifer Sinor, “Every Letter is a Love Letter.” She wrote of how Georgia O’Keefe wrote letters for years to her husband. The thing that drew me in was the language, the words in the article expressing the space that letters provide. There is the space of time between the writing and the receiving. In this day when a message can be sent before you even check the spelling, words can fly across vast spaces in a millisecond. I wanted to capture this idea somehow, so I thought of using erasure poetry.

The frustration for me was erasing the other words. So many artists do it in a way that somehow preserves the words behind the erasure. I tried different things so I ended up with a layered look that I don’t hate. I’ve typed the words I kept into poem form below:

Every Letter

we find those spaces void
you see canyons
empty spaces reveal vastness
Time in life’s work
experience of being in art
we fit ourselves

I wrote to my husband
Before long He left quiet communion,
heart of prayer, easy, difficult love letters.
You take your wounds handwritten
to be unrecognizable.

A letter is time–
rest in the gap

across space

binding us

to moment

to everyone–

Margaret Simon, erasure poem

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