National Poetry Month: Writing Wild

Welcome to day 3 of Writing Wild, my National Poetry Month project for 2021. Today’s featured author is Gene Stratton-Porter, an Indiana native and author of novels and nature studies, poetry and essays. Kathryn Aalto describes Stratton-Porter as a “a fascinating figure at the nexus of early twentieth century changes in conservation and gender roles…[a] maverick.” (p. 40) Her best-known book, A Girl of the Limberlost, published in 1909, sounds vaguely familiar to me, but I know I never read it.

I was more intrigued by Stratton-Porter’s nature studies, many of which are available online. Maybe because I don’t know a lot about them, I was drawn to Moths of the Limberlost (1912). Because I could print pages from this book, I decided to create a blackout poem today. I’ve never tried this form, and finding the right page to work with was like searching for the moths themselves! I finally just picked two pages at random. And although my drawing skills are woefully inadequate, I had fun creating today’s poem.

The Yellow Emperor

prefer the hickory.
Fresh leaves,

They moult,
growing stronger.


Then colour greenish brown.

They shone,
and escaped
those skins.

In spring delight

A carnival
from the Limberlost:

Winged creatures of the night.

Draft, © 2021, Catherine Flynn

Photo of Eacles Imperiales, by Gene Straton-Porter in Moths of the Limberlost

Previous Writing Wild posts:

Day 1: Dorothy Wordsworth
Day 2: Susan Fenimore Cooper

29 thoughts on “National Poetry Month: Writing Wild

  1. I think found poems can be so challenging, but you certainly pulled it off here! ” A carnival/from the Limberlost” catches my fancy and your ending line is perfect. I’m really loving your project!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You made the found poem “real”, Catherine, rather an ode to these beautiful creatures. I like “A carnival
    from the Limberlost:” especially!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I am so with Molly. I love this project. You make me want to try it. Your “art” is fine quite effective for this kind of graphic!! I like that you could print the pages. I also am impressed that you created a poem using the found poem “method” (ie black out or erasure style maybe?)by keeping it in order. Much of the time I like to have the option of shifting the words I have selected around a bit, but keeping them in order is so much more a challenge to get a poem that stands on its own. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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