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Thursday, February 2, 2017

"The New Colossus" = "The New U.S.": a Redacted Poem




Sometimes called black-out or erasure poems, this process involves finding a "new" poem inside a pre-existing piece by covering up parts of the original poem; this "exposes" the new poem.  Here, I've used transparent bars so that the original poem may still be read, heightening the sense of loss and so that the violence to the original poem is, in a way, highlighted rather than hidden.

In this case, I have chosen to call "The New U.S." a "redacted" poem.  The definition of redact in current culture generally means to edit out sensitive or dangerous content (Merriam defines redact as "transitive verb. 1 : to put in writing : frame. 2 : to select or adapt (as by obscuring or removing sensitive information) for publication or release; broadly : edit. 3 : to obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release.)  Redaction is often associated with material released by the government.

It seems obvious to me that the welcoming embrace of Lady Liberty in Lazarus' poem has been redacted by current Trump administration political moves.

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