by Tynan Drake, Ball State University

An erasure poem is a “poem that sculpts itself out of another larger text” in order to commentate on or derive new meaning from the original text (Brewer, “Erasure and Blackout Poems”). Erasure poems are created by taking choice words or phrases from the source text and deleting everything else in between. This technique can influence the interpretation of the reading by changing the context or be used to enhance the impact of the story by highlighting the most striking components.


This erasure poem was created from the text of Kiara Alfonseca’s article “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, full of ocean plastic, keeps growing” in order to emphasize the growing problem of plastic waste in our oceans. Please read the full article at:


Ocean Erasure: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch


monster          lurking

between Hawaii and California

vast dump   plastic waste   ocean

growing rapidly        a study        warned

Ocean Cleanup    a problem    to understand

non-profit            led the            initiative

more          we thought          not too late

Trash Free Seas      he sees      opportunity

stop          plastic          waterways

monitor    consumption    disposal

think about                 living

end        day        a people problem

far away     foreign     always downstream

power               changes               outflow

stop              the course              discarded

improve          cleanup          capture, concentrate

ship            the patch back to land            debris

meant to kill         lost and discarded         oceans

damaged ecosystems         deadly to         life

humans    great strides    turning    around

waste      stopping      our waterways

awareness                  is growing

people          make          an impact


Works Cited

Alfonseca, Kiara. “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, full of ocean plastic, keeps growing.” NBC News, 25 Mar. 2018, Accessed 27 Mar. 2018.

Brewer, Robert Lee. “Erasure and Blackout Poems: Poetic Forms.” Writer’s Digest, 21 Nov. 2014, Accessed 10 Apr. 2018.