NaPoWriMo 2016 FPR Impromptu 18 Mother, My Mirror


Today’s prompt comes from FPR, Impromptu poet Amaranth Borsuk, who suggests three different ways to approach today.  Here, I have given only the instructions for the one I chose, The Deletionist assist


A) The Dictionary Assist


Abra: A Living Text is a magical poetry spellbook for iPad and iPhone. Ian Hatcher, Kate Durbin, and I made this free app to put the text of Abra (1913 Press, 2016), a poem that mutates on the page, in readers’ hands, troubling the boundary between author and reader.

To see the full post, including the instructions for all three prompts more info on the poet, and links to other poems for this challenge, go to

MY CHOICE B) The Deletionist Assist

The Deletionist is a JavaScript bookmarklet that Nick Montfort, Jesper Juul and I made. It converts any webpage into an erasure using a series of constraints from which it selects the one that reveals the most interesting “Worl” within the World Wide Web.

  1. Go to and drag the icon on the page into your browser’s bookmarks bar.
  2. Go to several website you’d like to erase (gmail will let you get personal, Project Gutenberg will provide interesting source material, and will provide contemporary flavor–open a number of sites in different browser windows).
  3. Click the “Deletionist” bookmark and watch the dutiful Deletionist remove most of the language on your page. Harvest any phrases that interest you (you won’t always get phrases, so if you don’t like the results, try another site).
  4. Use this material for poems or screencapture page results you like.

Not having ready access to the recommended dictionary and being a lazy poet,  nor having either an iPad nor an iPhone, I followed the 2nd prompt, using the Deletionist tool.  The first thing I tried gave me many lines that were perhaps promising but all beginning with O, and sounding much like a paean to odd attractions.  This one came from a Brain Pickings article by Maria Popova featuring Ursula K. Le Guin, on Aging and What Beauty Really Means 

Here is what I ended up with, after some further erasing to carve out the poem. I did this in Word, removing text by simply changing the font from black to white, so I could retain the spacing, and effect of erasure. Then I used a snipping tool, et voilà !






Lady looking into mirror, Belur Halebidu

Lady looking into mirror, Belur Halebidu (Wikipedia)

2 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2016 FPR Impromptu 18 Mother, My Mirror

  1. I can’t believe you actually got this to work, Carol. I tried three texts and got more or less the same word repeated wherever it occurred on the page. Good for you!

    • Well, I almost gave up on it. My first attempt rendered a lot of o this and o that. Some of the others just conjunctions all down the page. This one… only when I scrolled to the bottom did I realize where this one might work. Interesting that it was Ursula Le Guin again. I used her last April for a PoMoSco prompt, also from Brain Pickings…

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