Erasure poets are known to find
Poetry in words still left behind
Where blackened words have taken flight
The remaining words shine extra bright.
What censors block with zeal and zest
Thinking that only they know best
The remaining words have extra meaning
Because they have escaped the censors’ screening.
An erasure poem may look like a redacted document, but it has the opposite aim: to elucidate a hidden truth, not hide an obvious one; to create something new, not just remove what’s there. Still, redacted documents can be a hoot to read for poets who make the same decisions about which words to keep or cut.