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Unveiling Creativity: The Art of Blackout Poetry

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Are you looking for creative exercises? And do you prefer one where words are involved? If "yes" is your answer to both questions, you should try blackout poetry. It's about redacting words from existing text and letting only a few words remain visible. When read together, these words create a poem.

It's a good mental exercise. Also, blackout poetry can help writers with writer's block because they don't have to think of new words. Instead, they just need to select words from existing text.

Continue reading to have a better understanding of this form of art.

black out poetry

Part 1. Understanding Black Out Poetry

Blackout poetry is a unique form of literary art that breathes new life into existing text.

When you do blackout poetry, you highlight words or phrases from a page and black out the rest. This transforms ordinary text into visually striking and evocative poems. The process is akin to sculpting words, revealing poetry hidden within the prose.

Blackout poetry is more than just a creative exercise, too. It can be a transformative experience. As writers immerse themselves in the art form, they embark on an intimate journey of self-discovery. They find solace and embrace the beauty of simplicity. And that's on top of the already romantic or deep vibe of poetry.

As mentioned above, it also helps writers who are finding it difficult to write new essays or novel chapters at the moment. Blackout poetry allows them to challenge their creativity without them writing from scratch. It may create a spark and give them ideas on what to write.

Part 2. How To Create Black Out Poetry Using Wondershare PDFelement

wondershare pdfelement for different devices

You need two things when creating blackout poetry. One is an existing article. It could be from a newspaper or a magazine. Since it is easier to do with electronic documents, we recommend finding a PDF. And that reveals the second thing you need: a good PDF editor.

We recommend Wondershare PDFelement. You would love how many things this PDF tool can do. For instance, Wondershare PDFelement can help you create blackout poetry very easily with its redact function. Also, it offers text highlighting, which can also help.

If you want to try doing blackout poetry with Wondershare PDFelement, follow these steps.

  1. Download and install Wondershare PDFelement on your computer. It is available on Windows and Mac.
  1. Click Open PDF on the bottom left corner or Edit in the right panel.
opening a pdf with wondershare pdfelement
  1. Open the PDF that you want to edit to create your blackout poetry.

a pdf opened with wondershare pdfelement
  1. Identify the words that you want to remain visible.
  2. Go to the Protect tab.
  3. Select Mark for Redaction.
wondershare pdfelement mark for redaction tool
  1. Select the text that you want to blackout. Right-click on it and choose Properties.

text in pdf marked for redaction
  1. At the "Properties" panel on the right of the screen, select the black color in the "Appearance" section.
redaction properties panel in wondershare pdfelement
  1. Click Apply Redaction > Continue.
  2. Repeat steps 6 - 9 until only the words you want to remain visible are visible.

blackout poetry created with wondershare pdfelement
  1. Optionally, go to the Comment tab and select Highlight. Highlight the words to make them pop even more.
blackout poetry with highlighted words
  1. Finanly, you got a poem like the following:

"Off-grid retreat

isolated place to connect

Distance from social stresses

Photovoltaic panels

Passive building designs

Lazed areas

Bring sunlight during evenings"

There you have it! That is how easy it is to create blackout poems using Wondershare PDFelement.

Part 3. Tips for Creating Black Out Poetry

If you are new to blackout poetry, you'd understandably need some tips. Let us help you. Here are some factors to keep in mind.

tips for black out poetry

1. Choose the Right Source Material

People often stay away from huge walls of text. But this is the one instance where you should embrace them. Since they contain more words, you have more options. It makes creating blackout poetry so much easier compared to when you have limited options.

We also recommend you pick books, newspapers, and magazines. They explore diverse content and themes and are likely to use fancy words.

While you can make it work, using an existing poem for blackout poetry is not advised. They contain fewer words than the sources mentioned above.

2. Be Selective

In blackout poetry, less is more. You don't want to blackout just a few words and call it a day. Instead, you should choose words wisely. While doing so, you need to leave enough negative space to create visual impact and draw attention to your poem's essence.

3. Experiment With Layout

Get creative with the layout of your blackout poem. Either you keep all the words on one side, or you make it random. You don't want most of the words on the left side and then suddenly, one is on the right. Only do this when the context calls for it, like if your poem is about accepting imperfections.

But as much as possible, you want to create a visual flow. Arrange words in different patterns to create visually striking and unique compositions.

4. Play With Colors and Mediums and Consider Visual Elements

You can use highlighters or font colors to add depth and vibrancy to your blackout poetry. This makes it more interesting and not just a black wall with some words occasionally peeking out. Furthermore, you can consider adding visual elements like drawings or doodles. It will increase the poem's artistic appeal. Also, it may help get the message across.

5. Stay Open to Interpretation

You should be open to the possibility that readers may interpret your poem differently from the intended meaning. It should not matter much. Allow them to interpret it the way they do. What's important is they got something from it. Embrace the open-ended nature of blackout poetry and allow others to find their meaning in your work.

Part 4. FAQs

Do you need more information about blackout poetry? Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about this literary art.

Q1. How Do I Choose the Right Source Material for Blackout Poetry?

Choose source material with diverse content and themes to have a wide range of words and phrases to work with. Books, newspapers, and magazines can be great sources for finding intriguing text for your blackout poems.

Q2. Can Blackout Poetry Be Therapeutic?

Yes, many people find creating blackout poetry a form of artistic therapy. It allows self-expression and mindfulness. Furthermore, it serves as a unique way to process emotions and thoughts creatively.

Q3. Do I Need Any Special Tools or Materials for Creating Blackout Poetry?

If you are working with printed documents, some coloring materials are enough. And if you're working with digitized documents, tools with a redact feature like Wondershare PDFelement is enough to do the job. That said, you don't need special tools.

Q4. Are There Any Copyright Concerns When Creating Blackout Poetry?

Copyright concerns are generally not present when creating blackout poetry for personal use or non-commercial sharing. However, if you plan to publish or use blackout poems commercially, it's essential to consider copyright and fair use guidelines.

Q5. How Can I Improve My Blackout Poetry Skills?

As usual, practice is key! Regularly challenge yourself to create blackout poems. You can try using different source materials and themes. Over time, you'll see that your techniques are becoming more refined, and you develop a distinct artistic voice.

Q6. How Do I Know Which Words To Highlight or Keep in My Blackout Poem?

It is important to read the entire source material first to find words that you can use. Highlight words or phrases that resonate with you or fit the message you want to convey. Remember to be selective and focus on words that evoke emotions or align with your artistic vision.


Blackout poetry is an interesting literary form. What it does is reuse existing materials to create poems with a message that may or may not relate to the source. It can be therapeutic and helps you improve your creative thinking.

Creating blackout poetry is remarkably simple, requiring only a tool with a redact function. We suggest utilizing Wondershare PDFelement, a reasonably-priced and feature-packed desktop PDF solution. Its straightforward interface makes generating blackout poetry an effortless endeavor.

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