Tributes to Leonard Cohen: Poems by Susmita Paul with Artwork from Anwesha Das Gupta

Erasure Poetry by Susmita Paul


According to the Academy of American Poets Glossary, 

“Erasure poetry, also known as blackout poetry, is a form of found poetry wherein a poet takes an existing text and erases, blacks out, or otherwise obscures a large portion of the text, creating a wholly new work from what remains.

Erasure poetry may be used as a means of collaboration, creating a new text from an old one and thereby starting a dialogue between the two, or as a means of confrontation, a challenge to a pre-existing text.”

At the personal level, erasures are my way of connecting with a tradition that is beyond my physical reach. The philosophy of the poets from whom I do erasures are important to me. The erasures are my perceptions arising from the ocean of eternal creation, like the amrit.

While reading the creations of Leonard Cohen, it occurred to me that some words are emerging as more powerful than others. Being a person who has experienced mental health challenges, I found Cohen speaking to me. These emerging words arise defiantly and lead me on. Such is the story of these erasures created from Cohen’s songs.

winter lady

who by fire



you want it darker


Susmita Paul is an emerging writer in English with a couple of English poems and creative non-fiction recently published and/or upcoming in Poets of the Pandemic section of ‘Headline Poetry and Press’ blog, ‘Plato’s Caves Online’, ‘Montauk’ and ON-Zine blog. ‘ Himabaho Kotha Bole’ (When Glaciers Speak) (Kaurab, 2019) is her only book of Bengali poetry. She is a Zentangle-inspired artist and an independent researcher. She is  mother to a curious five year old. She lives in Graz, Austria.



Anwesha Cohen




Anwesha Das Gupta is a 3rd year undergraduate student of St Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata, pursuing the field of Multimedia and Animation. She has varied spheres of interest and likes experimenting with new things

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