Top 5 Benefits of Blackout Poetry

Top 5 Benefits of Blackout Poetry

4 min read·March 5th 2022

While blackout poetry’s origin can be traced back to the 1700s, it has received a bit of a Renaissance in recent years, becoming more visible and popular thanks in part to social media. If you’ve been considering trying out blackout poetry, you definitely should. While there are many benefits of participating in blackout poetry, let’s take a look at five of the major ones.

1. Creativity

Perhaps the thing that people most appreciate about blackout poetry is that it provides an exciting new medium for creativity, whether you prefer working with words or visuals, as both are incorporated.

Blackout poetry involves finding patterns in walls of text to communicate a new message. The artistic part comes into play when creators interconnect words into new meanings. Blackout poetry can be visually stimulating while driving home powerful messages. Many people find this activity great for expressing themselves and enhancing their creativity.

2. Stress Relief

Are you someone that enjoys relaxing by focusing on a specific task like coloring or knitting? What about things like crosswords, word finds, or the newly trending Wordle? Chances are you’ll also experience stress relief by engaging in blackout poetry. When you participate in this art form, you really tend to go through a few different stages. One involves contemplating the words in a page of text and picking out new meanings using them. For people that enjoy wordplay, this can be an incredibly relaxing aspect.

The second stage of blackout poetry is the action stage. Now that you’ve identified the words you want to use in your new message, you begin using a pen, marker, or another tool to blackout the rest of the text. Here, you can create visual imagery in the paths used to connect the words or even other artwork. For many people, the repetitive action of carefully coloring the page is relaxing. In fact, research has even shown that spending 45 minutes doing blackout poetry reduces cortisol levels, the hormone produced during stress.

3. Express Yourself

Self-expression is at the center of many aspects of art, and blackout poetry is no different. In fact, blackout poetry can even help people better express themselves as you find meaning and messages in someone else’s words. Rather than having to generate your own words like traditional writing, blackout poetry provides the artist with an existing panel of words and phrases that can be molded into a new work. For some people, having this word bank of sorts to start can help them come up with what they want to communicate.

Blackout poetry is a very exciting mixed medium method of art as it combines text with shades and sometimes images. Some people will even utilize white-out, red ink, and other colors on top of the blacked-out words to add to the message they are communicating in the text. The reality is that there are countless ways to express yourself with blackout poetry.

4. Social Commentary

For many people, one of the biggest benefits of blackout poetry is being able to engage in social commentary. Many people utilize the medium as a way to share their thoughts about the world. Since blackout poetry is perfectly suited for outlets like Instagram, this can be a great way to get your message out to the world.

In fact, many people will even specifically choose their original texts for the basis of the message they want to send with their blackout poetry. For example, creating a critique about lack of freedom in the U.S. using part of the Declaration of Independence, using a political party’s platform to criticize their direction, or using a page from Darwin’s Origin of Species to construct a message about the evolving modern world. The possibilities are endless.

5. Stimulate Your Mind

Much like many things that utilize an intense focus on words, participating in blackout poetry every day can stimulate your mind. As you may know, your brain is constantly creating new connections and trimming those that are not used. Any time you spend time on a new task, your brain creates new connections between neurons and strengths those that are used.

Part of blackout poetry involves searching for new phrases and sentences within a work, a process somewhat similar to word searches which have been shown to improve reasoning skills and be very beneficial for brains as people age. Blackout poetry is also an art form that requires focus, which can help improve your ability to give attention to other tasks as well. You may be surprised to find you are a bit more mentally sharp or alert after daily blackout poetry.