Living in a society which is driven by pop culture, it can be really hard to find originality sometimes. With so many reboots, remakes and reimaginings (I totally recommend this one btw), one can become easily overwhelmed and bored.
When 50 Shades of Grey took the world by storm I, like many others, was feeling pretty disillusioned by it all. On one hand, it feels bad to downplay one woman’s phenomenal success. But on the other, it’s incredibly frustrating seeing problematic media hailed. I could write about everything that is wrong with 50 Shades, but I want to show you something really cool instead.
I was in the tub, taking part in a Twitter chat and searching the ‘feminism’ tag on Instagram, when I stumbled upon the work of Cassy Fry. Cassy is an indie writer and creative blogger from the South East of England. She is currently chasing her dream career of being a professional writer by… just doing it. And I love that.
Cassy’s art stood out immediately, especially 50 Shaded Poems. Now *this* is a reimagining (of sorts) that I can get behind. Instead of completely trashing the franchise, Cassy has made beautiful and inspiring poetry from it. How has she done this you ask? Through the art of blackout poetry.
Blackout poetry is poetry made by eliminating the words in a text with a permanent marker, leaving behind only a few selected words to make a poem. After picking up a copy of Fifty Shades in a charity shop (for “the satisfying figure of 50 pence“), this is exactly what Cassy did!
“I looked through the pages chronologically. I quickly began to follow the plot while I was searching for striking and evocative words, so I soon swapped for just opening up to a random page.” – Cassy Fry
The beauty of blackout poetry is how it can completely transform a piece of text into something extraordinary. I had never heard about this kind of poetry prior to 50 Shaded Poems and what a brilliant introduction it was!
“I was looking for uplifting messages and poetic imagery. What I love about blackout poetry is that it is transformative, you can uncover different narratives from the same words. The challenge of this project was to avoid the erotic and create something gently inspiring.” – Cassy Fry
I haven’t seen anything this clever in a long time and it definitely left me feeling inspired. There truly is beauty everywhere, we just have to look close enough. I’m going to leave you with my favourite part from the book:
Paperback (print on demand via Blurb) £8.99
e-book (for ibooks via Blurb) for £2.99
PDF (available for Cassy’s Patreon supporters to download)
50 Shaded Poems prints/postcards/badges/magnets are available from Cassy’s Etsy shop.
Read more about the project: Finding Inspiration In Fifty Shades Of Grey