Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Found poetry 2

I wrote yesterday about my newfound literary/art form of found poetry.  I've asked myself why I am so enthralled by this approach -- why don't I just sit down and write a poem from scratch?  Actually I do occasionally write my own, but I'm hesitant to let them out in public. 

I enjoy writing poetry, but am a beginner with a lot to learn.  Besides, I have a strong sense of privacy and am reluctant to put my heart on my sleeve, even for limited distribution.  But for some reason finding poetry is much easier than writing it.  Choosing from pre-existing words somehow mediates the expression and makes me much less reticent -- much as artists often find that monoprints, with their mediated mark-making, are easier to do than painting directly onto the paper.

An artist friend of mine sent me a link to a blog that posed a found poetry challenge.  We were too late to participate in the challenge, but decided to do it ourselves.  The rules were to look through your bookshelves and choose titles that would become part of a poem.  Then stack the books up and take a picture. 

Technically you were allowed to add words to fill out the poem, but I decided to make it harder and use just the titles. 

Here's my found poem:

     Away from home
     living dangerously
     a lost love.

     I want it now!
     Set the stars on fire!

     Bad love
     over the edge:
             moment of truth.

     Coming home.
     150 ways to play solitaire.
     Time enough for love
     before I die.

Click here to see what a lot of other people did with the challenge.  I like mine better with no added words.


  1. Kathy, poetry isn't putting your heart on your sleeve. It's putting your brain on the page. xo Mary Jo (P. S. Love your found poem.)

  2. What fun! Ill never look at a bookshelf the same again.

  3. It's quite amazing what even just your punctuation does to the pile of titles--makes them a poem.

  4. I suppose you know the magnetic fridge poetry where you can hardly avoid coming up with something sexual, but it's a similar principle: play with words that are given. But the book-title one is even better, what a wonderful way to rearrange your bookshelf. Every day. (Saves you sorting your scrap bag...) ;-))