Announcing a new challenge

rubberman

Here’s a new one for you. Have you ever tried your hand at composing Found Poems? This is another great exercise because it sharpens our sense for things poetic and offers the thrill of the hunt.

The definition of a Found Poem is as follows:
A poet takes an existing text and refashions and reorders the words and presents them as poems. A Found Poem consists exclusively of outside texts; the words of the poem remain as they were found. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

Here are a few rules for a Found Poem:
 The original author (or source) must not have intended the text to be poetry
 Finders may cut words and add line breaks but may not add words
 Finders may add their own title
 The original source of the text must be cited and can be included as part of the poem
Here is a list of possible places where you might “find” a poem:
 Newspapers and Magazines
 Signs or Bulletin Boards in School Hallways
 A Note Found on the Floor
 A Sign in a Classroom or Cafeteria
 An English Test
 Billboards
 Street Signs
 Greeting Cards
 Food Containers (cereal boxes, etc.)
 Menus
 A Social Studies Textbook or Other Books
 Emails and Texts
 Slips of Discarded Paper
 Overheard Speech or Conversation

If you have a Found Poem, please post it in the comments section below this post. I hope to see many of you share your creative discoveries. There is no limit so fire away.

To make this challenge more inviting, you should know that Georgia Heard, who is scheduled to be one of my featured guests, is currently gathering Found Poems for a new book for ages 8-11 that she’s compiling for Roaring Brook Press. Georgia is looking forward to seeing the poems posted on my blog. This is an opportunity for you to compete for a spot in her book.

To help guide you, here’s an example of one of my own Found Poems.

New York, New York

New York City,
magnet for people
from around the world,
constantly pushing forward,
stretching boundaries –
New York, uniquely
New York.

Found poem source:
American Airlines magazine,
American Way, June 1, 2010
Article by Gerald J. Arpey
Chairman & CEO
American Airlines
Borrowed words are in red.

Whenever I visit New York City, I marvel at how much can change there in a short period of time. The city is a magnet for people, capital, talent and energy from around the world, in part because it is constantly pushing forward, stretching the boundaries of what a city can be. And yet, New York is always uniquely New York.