“Instructions for Carving by the Coroner Poet”

Ann Weil created “Instructions for Carving by the Coroner Poet” from The Cook and Housewife’s Manual by Margaret Dods (1826). Please click here to read.

About the poem and the process of composing it, Ann writes:

For this poem I focused on several paragraphs from the chapter entitled “Instructions for Carving.” I perused the text, making a list of words and phrases that stood out to me as linguistically interesting and rich in imagery. From this list of 63 phrases, I noticed a theme within a theme begin to develop. I continued to erase until I reached the final 14 lines, keeping them in the order they appeared in the original text. The end result is an erasure poem, although my process is less erasure and more “gathering.” I find that this approach allows me to work with lengthy texts without becoming overwhelmed. I liken it to walking through a field of flowers and gathering just the more extraordinary blossoms to take with me into the world.


Also by Ann Weil at HERON TREE: “The Importance of the Screw.”