Black Out – A Poetic Exercise

My new favorite writer’s blog, The Pencil Sharpener, is sharpening my skills in the poetry department. Today’s exercise is to find a short poem, completely cross out all but the fifth word and see what remains. The exercise is completed by rewriting a poem around those words in the genre of your choice.

I found a poem by Alice Walker of The Color Purple fame that appealed to me. I blacked out every 5th word and was actually pleased with the result as a standalone piece. I then reworked it in the form of a limerick.

Expect Nothing
by Alice Walker

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
Become a stranger
To need of pity
Or if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough.
Stop short of the urge to plead
Then purge away the need.


Expect nothing. Live frugally
Become a stranger
need of pity
Or if
compassion be freely
Given out

Take only enough.
Stop short
of the urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

expect surprise
need compassion
take then

Expect Surprise
by Almond Joycie

Expect to be caught by surprise.
You never know when the need may arise
To be filled with compassion
Of more than your ration
Take then give and you’ll never despise.

18 comments on “Black Out – A Poetic Exercise

  1. Nice and fun too! 🙂 Very creative! 🙂

  2. This is so clever, a whole different approach I have not seen before!! So creative…you always amaze me Joyce!! Thanks so much for linking with Potluck!! Your support means so much. Much love my friend xx

  3. very masterfully done…
    love the creativity in it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Happy Poetry Potluck,
    I am thrilled to have you in,
    remember, the more you share, the happier we are.

    support us by visiting a few poets from out list.

  5. a very cool result from an interesting exercise! Nice to read you again– it’s been too long.

    My Pot Luck poem is here: http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/week-26-i-looked-into-my-heart-while-my-eyes-were/ Enjoy!

  6. ooohhhh…this is a cool idea. Gonna give it a try, thanks
    “Of more than your ration”…I do hope you are overflowing at this very moment.

  7. you always astound me with your unconventional approaches. great!

  8. What a fun, creative approach. I enjoyed it a lot.

  9. 1. This was super clever, and very interesting too!!
    2. I LOVED that line like crazy!!! Take then give and you will never despise — sooooo true!! This was just amazing!!!

    Very smartly done, Joyce.. thank you so much for linking this fine piece with Poetry Potluck!! You rock!!! 😀

  10. Joycie Dear, this one is so clever and different.. Loved the way you have treated words to capture the essence

    Here’s mine:

    All the Best

  11. http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/2010/10/poetry-potluck-natures-elements-air.html
    Greetings, friend!!
    It is Monday, I sincerely invite you to join us for a Monday Poetry Potluck party, bring in 1 to 3 poem treats to share, and have fun tasting other poets treats.
    You will have 60 hours enjoying the fun.
    Hurry up, the more you share, the happier we are.
    Hope to see you in our party, hurry up, the earlier you are in, the more traffic you get…
    to link in, click on the link via this comment, then look at the blue link button at the end of the post, click on the button, have your poem link copy and pasted in the first box, then enter your name, at last your email address…let us know if you need help by leaving a comment under the same post…

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