Announcing a new challenge


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.

121 comments on “Announcing a new challenge

  1. Hello David,

    I’ve been working on a picture book that features a gorilla and have become totally fascinated with them. Here are three gorilla found poems.


    are closely related
    to humans.
    In captivity,

    Gorillas are closely related to humans and are considered highly intelligent. A few individuals in captivity, such as Koko, have been taught a subset of sign language. Like the other great apes, gorillas can laugh, grieve, have “rich emotional lives,” develop strong family bonds, can make and use tools, and can think about the past and future. – Wikipedia – Gorillas – Intelligence

    The gorilla is a shy,
    Only when provoked
    does it beat intruders!

    The gorilla is a shy and, for the most part, inoffensive, leaf-eating vegetarian— a far cry from the fearsome, aggressive creature depicted in films and comic books. Only when provoked or threatened does it rise to an erect position and beat its cupped hands against its chest in an attempt to intimidate intruders of its territory. – – Canadian Museum of Nature – Gorillas

    Can you imagine waking up,
    surrounded by food?
    A gorilla eats plant material
    like fruits, seeds and roots.
    And their favorite?
    – a banana!

    Can you imagine waking up each morning surrounded by food? Almost everything a gorilla eats is plant material, so life in the forest is like living in a huge restaurant! Gorilla food includes leaves, stems, fruits, seeds, and roots. And gorillas love to eat—it’s their favorite activity! An adult male will eat up to 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of food each day. Gorillas’ large stomachs can hold the bulky food they eat. Strong jaws help them chew tough stems. At the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park the gorillas get a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, plus banana and ficus leaves. – San Diego Zoo’s Animal Bytes – Gorilla

    • Hooray for Nancy!

      Thank you for showing the way. These are all excellent examples of what found poems are all about. I hope this sets the stage for others to come forward and share their Found Poems.

      I look forward to seeing your picture book one day.


  2. David, right or wrong I wrote
    a Found Poem.

    Season of Music

    Tanglewood season
    string concerts
    two days
    quartet students
    music by
    Haydn and Schumann.

    -Mary Nida Smith

    Classical Music
    June 27-28

    The Tanglewood season
    often begins with string-
    quartet concerts, but this
    year will be exceptional: over
    two days, fourteen quartets
    made up of Tanglewood
    students will perform music
    by Haydn and Schumann,
    among others. (

    The music of Haydn and
    Schumann, at Tanglewood.
    The New Yorker, May 24, 2010

    • Okay! Thanks, Mary Nida. I thoroughly enjoy finding poems and can see that you do too. Copy writers know how to keep their prose clear and short so they make an excellent source for this kind of poetry.

      Thanks for sharing this one.


  3. Hi David,

    I have posted by mistake my found poem in the section Adult W.O.M. by mistake. Anyway to delete it in that section so that I can repost it in the appropriate blog?


    • Hi Lucia,

      Go ahead and repost here and I’ll delete the first effort on W.O.M. Can you also share the original text or is it too long?



    • Lucia,

      I’ve tried copying and pasting your found poem here but it pops up under my comments with my picture, which seems confusing to me. Why don’t you post it again here in this section so it will appear with your own name.



  4. Hi David,

    The original text is approx. 1,200 words. If it’s too long, can I post the link instead?


    • Hi David,

      I am submitting my found poem entitled, “Diana Princess of Wales” in the hopes that it might be appropriate for Ms. Georgia Heard ‘s collection. The obituary speech is by Earl of Spencer on September 9th 1997.

      Lucia Renzo

      Diana Princess of Wales
      by Lucia Renzo

      Compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty.
      The symbol of selfless humanity.

      British girl of unique qualities,
      Mischievous, sense of humour.
      Joy for life,
      Unforgettable eyes, boundless energy.

      Greatest gift,
      Intuition, instinctive feel,
      Sensitivity in the anguish of AIDS, HIV sufferers.
      The homeless, lepers, land mines.

      Innermost feelings to connect with the rejected.
      Remained insecure at heart, childlike.
      Feelings of unworthiness, eating disorders.
      World cherished her vulnerability.

      She sparkled,
      Paparazzi, picture time.
      Sneered at by the media.

      Name of the ancient goddess of hunting,
      Was in the end -hunted.

      Loss of a woman,
      Beautiful and radiant
      Internal and external,
      Never extinguished from our minds.

      Edit Comment

  5. Hello David:

    Here is my attempt at writing three found poems using one source.


    Found Poem #1
    After the mysterious
    disappearance of
    their parents,
    life for Sabrina and
    Daphne is Grimm.

    Found Poem #2
    Granny Relda
    Reveals that classic book of fairy tales
    Is actually a collection of case files of

    Found Poem #3
    Sabrina and Daphne Grimm,
    sisters and fairy tale detectives.
    On their first case,
    the girls must stop
    a giant from destroying
    their new hometown.

    Original text:
    For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life hasn’t been a fairy tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother — a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda reveals that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files of magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy-tale detectives. Their first case? A roller-coaster ride of an adventure to stop a giant from destroying their new hometown.

    –Back of the book summary for The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives

    • Well this is impressive, Carol-Ann! It’s like variations on a theme, and I like the overall impact a lot.

      Thanks so much for your Found Poems. I hope you like doing these. I think they’re fun.


  6. Hi David,

    My found poem “Princess of Wales” derives from the famous speech made by Earl of Spencer. The original source is located at;

    Princess of Wales

    Compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty.
    The symbol of selfless humanity.

    British girl of unique qualities,
    Mischievous, sense of humour.
    Joy for life,
    Unforgettable eyes, boundless energy.

    Greatest gift,
    Intuition, instinctive feel,
    Sensitivity in the anguish of AIDS, HIV sufferers.
    The homeless, lepers, land mines.

    Innermost feelings to connect with the rejected.
    Remained insecure at heart, childlike.
    Feelings of unworthiness, eating disorders.
    World cherished her vulnerability.

    She sparkled,
    Paparazzi, picture time.
    Sneered at by the media.

    Name of the ancient goddess of hunting,
    Was in the end -hunted.

    Loss of a woman,
    Beautiful and radiant
    Internal and external,
    Never extinguished from our minds.

  7. This was fun. Here’s a twofer.


    Vampires and witches
    Sneak out at night
    To play in the graveyard –
    A peculiar delight.

    The Psychology of Horror – Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D
    Chapter 21, Page 124, first parg.
    How To Write Tales Of Horror, Fantasy And Science Fiction
    Writer’s Digest Books c 1987 J. N. Williamson

    I continued to feed this attraction by reading about vampires and witches, by sneaking out at night to play in the graveyard, or by sitting alone in the basement late at night to watch hair-raising movies about psychopathic killers. And as I cultivated the stimulation of horror in myself, I also developed a peculiar delight in drawing others into the net of horror with me.


    See the hummingbird
    Not there,
    Arises and blinks off
    Thing of summer vapor

    Run Fast, Stand Still, or The Thing at the Top of the Stairs, or New Ghosts from Old Minds – Ray Bradbury
    Chapter 1, page 11, first paragraph
    How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction
    Writer’s Digest Books c 1987 J. N. Williamson

    See the hummingbird, there, not there, as thought arises and blinks off, so this thing of summer vapor; the clearing of a cosmic throat, the fall of a leaf.

  8. I’m really enjoying reading the found poems that have been posted so far! A big thank you to David for your poems, and for posting this challenge on your blog. It’s amazing that there’s so much poetry out there in the everyday world. Once you begin looking — you can find poems everywhere — I’m even finding poems in menus and on street signs! Keeping finding poems!

    • Georgia, thank you for getting so many people started on their searches for found poetry. You may have to do more than one book!


  9. Hi David, I love this creative exercise. I am enjoying the variety of poems being posted. I was inspired by Carol-Ann’s three Found poems from one source and I attempted my own. Here goes.


    Found poem #1

    Painting a picture?
    PInk is passé,
    pink stinks!

    Black is in.
    Girls like black now.
    The new color is black.

    Isn’t it time
    beyond pink?

    Source: Purplicious, by Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann

    I was in art class, painting a picture.
    “Don’t you know, pink is passé. Passé is French for ‘over,’ ”said Brittany.
    “The new color is black. All the girls like black now.”
    “Black is in,” said Beatrice during recess.
    “Pink is putrid,” announced Pauline while dangling from the monkey bars.
    “Yeah, pink stinks!” added Sophia.
    Everyone on the bus laughed. “Isn’t it time you moved beyond pink?”

  10. Hi David, Here is
    Found poem #2

    No one
    understands me.
    I’m the only one
    in the whole w I d e world
    who likes PINK.
    I am all alone…

    Source: Purplicious, by Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann
    “I’m the only one in the whole wide world who likes pink. I am all alone. No one understands me,” I said to myself.

  11. Found poem #3

    A cake.
    Blue frosting.
    into the blue
    turned blue into purple.
    POWERFUL pink!
    … it’s purplicious!

    Source: Purplicious, by Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann

    “What are you painting ?” I asked.
    “It’s a picture of a cake, but the blue frosting doesn’t look right. I think I need some pink, and then it will be perfect.”
    She mixed the pink paint into the blue, and the frosting turned purple.
    “Pink is powerful,” she said. “Look, it turned blue into purple.”
    “Hmmm, purple is pretty,” I said.
    “Not just pretty … it’s purplicious!?

    • Cory,

      These are fun, good examples of Found Poems. You give us much pleasure by your clever compositions and I thank you!


  12. Hello David,

    I forgot to check off: Notify me of follow-up comments via email- to my three Found poems from the one source:Purplicious.

    Consider this my official check.


    • Cory,

      I don’t think I can do it. There’s a command at your end that needs to be turned off if you don’t want to be notified of incoming comments. I’m sorry, but I can’t do it for you.


  13. Looking through my groceries flyer this poem emerged.

    From Québec, Alaska,
    Uruguay or Chile
    food is everything.

    Plain, fresh, or frozen.
    Chicken, salmon, bacon-
    Food is everything.

    Clementines, broccoli,
    popsicle treats.
    Praline clusters and cream ice-cream-
    Food is everything!

    Real food. Dairy dessert.
    Classique sensations.
    Compliments to IGA!

    Source: IGA flyer, From Thursday, July 15 to Wednesday, July 21, 2010, p. B3

    • Cory, another winner! You’re a natural at this. I’m enjoying your Found Poems very much!

      Many thanks,


  14. NOBODY
    saw the baby carriage
    c o m i n g
    along the sidewalk.

    saw the stuffed animal

    and thump gently,
    onto the blanket.

    Except … the baby.

    Source:Thing-Thing, by Cary Fagan
    by: Cory

    • Cory, perfect. You are exercising your right as the poet to arrange word and line structure to enhance the poetic effect of the result. Good!


  15. David, here’s a reminder that bears repeating in this fast-paced busy world ….

    In a rush.
    Nerves shedding.
    Heart’s racing.
    Stress hormone streaking through your body.
    Not accomplishing a thing?
    Useless frenzy!

    Irrevocably stuck in the moment.
    Feet tied to it.
    A spoke in time’s wheel.
    Not going anywhere?

    You are here.
    Behind the customer
    with the endless questions.
    On the street
    with a tantrum-throwing child.
    At dinner.
    Your husband telling that story again.
    Lethal boredom!

    Twisting and burning
    in the fires of impatience?
    Apply PATIENCE – the supreme medicine:
    Frustration goes away
    Outrage cools.
    Peace is yours.

    Source: O Magazine, September 2008, p. 194
    “Patience Is a Skill”, Amy Gross.

    • Good heavens, Cory! If you keep finding these winners, you’ll have to do a book of your own! This is another great example.

      Thanks so much for sharing.


  16. Map Legend Direction
    by Liz Korba

    Roads –
    Under Construction
    Conditions vary – Inquiry suggested
    One Way (unless otherwise)
    Best of Road determined by distances (or not shown)
    Distance Between
    Boundary – Time
    (Abbreviations complete)
    Go in this.

    Rand McNally
    The 2011 Road Atlas
    Page 1 – Map Legend

  17. To celebrate National Ice Cream Month,
    our family consumes
    over 90 ice cream flavors
    for the entire month of July!
    What’s not to love?

    Source: JULY IS…National Ice Cream Month Designated by Ronald Reagan in 1984, July is National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday of the month is National Ice Cream Day! Over 90% of our nation’s population consumes ice cream. There are many ways to celebrate this observance. Most importantly through the support of local dairy farmers and family owned businesses. Enjoy your favorite ice cream flavors for the entire month! What’s not to love?

    The Barre Montpelier Times Argus (Sunday, July 18, 2010), p. A4

    • Carol-Ann, this hit the spot. This afternoon I treated the six of us in our family party to ice cream and did it taste good!

      Many thanks,


  18. FLASH!
    B.E. Miss-Jason
    a CA, USA-corporation
    made 3” X 9” blank-New
    Ark cards
    in 5 assorted colors.

    Source- A box of flashcards with the following words:
    BLANK Bemiss-Jason
    CARDS Newark, CA 94560
    5 Assorted colors
    250 cards 3” X9”
    Made in USA

  19. Dear David, I used to have a rabbit that entertained me like this. I joined him in the game. How I laughed!

    There was rabbit.
    Skipping about.
    Not a care in the world.
    Playing a game
    just at that moment invented:
    Dash several feet in one direction.
    STOP suddenly.
    Spring into the air!
    Back to the starting point.
    Jump again.
    Back and forth.
    Forth and back.
    A pretty sight!

    Source: Marshallow, by Clare Turlay Newberry

    And there was that rabbit, skipping about as if hadn’t a care in the world. …. but went on playing a little game he had just at that moment invented. He would dash several feet in one direction, stop suddenly and spring into the air. Then he would turn, dash back to his starting point, and jump again, back and forth, back and forth. It was a very gay and pretty sight.

    • Cory, with or without the “m” you found another entertaining poem. I would hate to bet against you on a scavenger hunt!


  20. Here’s a guilt-free, non-weight-packing, homemade-no ice cream maker-required treat that reminds us of the joy of living. Have a safe trip, David.

    You’ll love orange!
    Orange ice cream.
    Homemade orange vanilla ice cream.

    Guilt-free favorite summertime fun.
    A HOT new energy idea. Now.
    Healthy all-time-any-time KOOL!

    Fall in love. Easy.
    Homemade style.
    Every orange-vanilla-ice-cream time.

    • Cory, thanks for the good wishes. My vacation was very nice. We were eight, counting my wife Sandy, our son and his wife, our daughter and her husband, and our two grandsons. On the last day we went fishing and caught our limit of red snapper. Ate some of them that night. Yum!

      But maybe not as yummy as orange-vanilla-ice-cream!


  21. Source: Chatelaine magazine, August 2010, cover page.
    All-time favorite summer recipes. Style Hot list. Clothes You’ll Love Now Through Fall.
    Healthy Eating. Dine Out. Guilt-Free. Fun Ideas For Any Room. Homemade Ice cream
    in 10 minutes. ORANGE VANILLA ICE CREAM page 156
    More energy now! Easy Ways to Stay motivated

  22. Here are three thoughts from one source. A truly different focus than the one L’Oréal intended.

    Wear a gentle face today;
    light a more beautiful tomorrow.
    Face every tomorrow
    with a more gentle today.

    Face, absorb, and gentle today;
    texture tomorrow with color and light.

    Care today
    for a more gentle tomorrow.
    Gentle today
    for a more beautiful tomorrow.
    Every day.

    • Ah, what nice twists and nuances you have discovered. Thank you again, Cory, for your growing list of strong found poems.


  23. Source: L’Oréal Ombrelle ad in Chatelaine June 2010

    Protect your face today for a more beautiful tomorrow.
    The delicate skin of your face requires its own suncare.
    Vitamin E in a light, non-greasy texture …you can wear it comfortably every day.
    Absorbs … yet is gentle enough for your face.
    With mexoryl technology

  24. Hello David,
    I have had fun finding poems all over the place! Thank you for the challenge.

    Friendly Flavors

    Spice and heat,
    Sweet-salty fusion.
    Zingy, perfumey.
    Latin and Asia.

    Blending together,
    Finally, together,
    From oceans apart.
    Destined to be.

    Source: Fire & Spice by Jennifer Low, Canadian House & Home, October 2005

    For foodies searching for the next hot flavor sensation this fall, trendy restaurants are boasting a new fusion cuisine: Latin-Asian, also known by the sing-song moniker Chino-Latino. Elements from Mexico, Cuba and South America turn up the spice and heat with hot dried chiles, zingy limes, and perfumey allspice, while influences from China, Japan, Thailand and other points East weave in complex salty-sweet notes: miso, soy, hoisin and oyster sauces. When the two cuisines blend, it’s like pieces of a puzzle finally coming together. The Latin and Asian worlds may be oceans apart on a map, but on the plate they were destined to be together.

  25. Hi Wendy,

    I love your poem, Friendly Flavors. It really gets the taste buds going. A delicious poem!


  26. This is so much fun reading all the poems that are found in such unlikely places — from cosmetic ads to flash cards! I’m starting to take photos of the poems I find out in the world. Thank you all for your inspiration!

  27. Indulge in self-discovery.
    What could be of more value?
    Dip into you.
    Everything inside you.
    You are a riveting read.

    Escape into you.
    Discover a new image
    A new self-portrait.
    The rewards are better than great.

    Be a lover of the book that is you.
    See the courage, welcome the conviction.
    A little bit of everything-
    Different, normal, innocent
    Good and amazing.

    Indulge in the thrill of you.
    Begin this summer…

    • Cory, this is one of my favorites. “Dip into you . . . escape into you . . . be a lover of the book that is you.” Great advice for us all!


  28. Source: Chapters-Indigo Summer 2010 issue of Indulge.
    Welcome to the Summer issue of Indulge, our semi-annual insider’s guide published exclusively for our most valued customers. ……it’s an amazing beach read…legal thriller Innocent… Maybe you prefer a riveting memoir… Ali’s self-portrait of courage, conviction and self-discovery. …and a new Egyptian epic for tweens begins… Or just , maybe, you’re going to dip into a little bit of everything. What could be better?
    Wishing you a great summer and good reading. See back cover…

  29. While eating breakfast at Chez Cora’s the words on the placement inspired:

    Take the time
    Every single time
    Craft a fresh YOU, lovingly…
    A spectacular you
    A no-limits you.

    Love the passion
    of the

    The passion is YOU.
    That’s the Magic!

    • The passion is you, Cory. That’s the magic. And you find the magic of poetry everywhere you look. What a beautiful talent!


  30. Source: Chez Cora’s placemat menu attractions.

    Fruit is our passion.
    We love fruit so much that every single time we make the Fruit Magic breakfast we take the time to carve a fresh apple spear. And that’s just one of the spectacular dishes we lovingly craft for you. Passion has no limits!

  31. Pingback: Dates to remember « Children's Author David L. Harrison's Blog

  32. One camping weekend, I discovered this poem while reading a 2 page article written by Chris Daniels entitled, “Planet-friendly shopping” in Air Miles Inspired Living magazine.

    Sustainable Shopping
    by Lucia Renzo

    Eat local and in-season.
    Buy local ingredients,
    Imported meal,
    Contributes to global warming.

    Look for green label,
    Symbols that are certified.
    Environmentally friendly brands
    Make better purchasing decisions.

    Pay attention to packaging;
    Any recycled content?
    Less packaging?
    Reuse for another purpose?

    Vote with your purchase,
    Choose the most package reduction.

  33. Pingback: Activities to remember « Children's Author David L. Harrison's Blog

  34. Thanks for your feedback. David. It is motivating and INSPIRATIONAL!

    Vacation was yummy
    So very sandy, so nice.
    Vacation was good
    but not so for eight fish!

    “Snap!” went Red Snapper,
    we caught that last day.
    “Yum!” went my two grandsons, counting them
    as we yummy-ate ALL the eight fish.

    Thanks yummy snappers
    So good and so nice
    But THANKS for the no-limit
    we all ate!

  35. Source: David Harrison
    Cory, thanks for the good wishes. My vacation was very nice. We were eight counting my wife Sandy, … and our two grandsons. On the last day we went fishing and caught our limit of red snapper. Ate some of them that night! Yum! But maybe not as yummy as orange-vanilla-ice-cream!

  36. Here’s a found poem, David. Thank you for the challenge!

    The Brown Pelican

    By B.J. Lee

    A favorite of the locals,
    the darling of the tourists,
    the pelican is playful.
    He has a lot of personality
    and never seems quite so serious
    as the other birds.
    His yawns and stretches
    are a comic joy to watch.
    He has time for fun.

    Here, then is that master entertainer,
    the jester of the waterfront,
    Florida’s “Clown Prince,”
    the Brown Pelican.

    From “Florida’s Fabulous Waterbirds; Their Stories” by Winston Williams

    • Hi BJ,

      Slowly but surely I’m catching up. This is a lot of fun. I’m sure that Winston Williams would be flattered to know that he was describing waterfowl in poetry!


  37. Drum Circle

    By B.J. Lee

    Just before sunset
    come out and dance
    or bring a drum
    or instrument,
    hula hoop
    and your smile.
    Please leave negativity at home.

    from Facebook page for the Treasure Island Drum Circle

  38. Pirates’ Days

    By B.J. Lee

    Treasure hunters
    in costume
    must have
    a map,
    a sack,
    a clue sheet.
    Merchants have been instructed
    not to give loot to unruly pirates.

    from the Treasure Hunt Code of Conduct for the John’s Pass Pirates’ Days Treasure Hunt

  39. Immersed in the BEAUTY created by Canadian photographer and writer, Freeman Patterson, this poem emerged.

    A cloud, forming or dissipating
    in a deep blue sky;
    a dandelion blossom, emerging
    from a crack in the pavement;
    a whisper of wind
    blowing through grasses;
    the ping plunk of raindrops streaming,
    splattering on windowpanes.

    B E A U T Y.
    Beauty surrounds us.
    E v e r y w h e r e …
    every day.

    Gently soothing
    Can-not-be-put-into-words music.

    S l o w down
    b e a u t y – t i m e . . .

    See it.
    Hear it.
    Delight in it.
    Become it.

    Source: the garden, by Freeman Patterson, p. 68

    My mother taught me ….putting it into words… gave me life a second time.
    Visual beauty, heart-stopping beauty, gently soothing beauty surrounds us every day of our lives, everywhere- a dandelion blossom emerging from a crack in the pavement, a cloud forming or dissipating in a deep blue sky… The same is true for the beauty of sound and music. …quick to hear noise …to tune into the whisper of wind blowing through grasses, or the pings and plunks of raindrops splattering on our living-room window. …slower yet … delight in such things. …streaming down our windowpanes

    • Cory, once more, thanks for using your clever eye to find such interesting poems in everyday literature.


  40. I “found” several poems in Virginia Woolf’s writings. She seems to be a natural haikuist.

    Summers night.
    Someone on a seat
    and voices speaking from the flowers.

    From “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

    • I guess I should give this one a title and byline. Let me resubmit it. Thank you.

      Garden Seat

      By B.J. Lee

      Summers night.
      Someone on a seat
      and voices speaking from the flowers.

      From “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

      • Dear B.J.

        I love the image, “and voices speaking from the flowers.”

        Whenever I photograph my flowers, I imagine them speaking to me.

        Thank you for sharing. You were really inspired! Bravo!

        I think I might try some haiku.


      • Another good find, BJ. And what better source than Woolf!

        Thank you for sharing your discoveries.


  41. Another “natural” haiku from Virginia Woolf

    Spring Rain

    By B.J. Lee

    Pouring now.
    The drought broken –
    The worst spring on record.

    From “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

  42. Second Chance

    By B.J. Lee

    Adventurous Rocky
    Found stuck in the rocks
    Stray Bailey
    Charming kitten
    Affectionate Pal
    Gives kisses freely
    Sweet Jay-Jay
    Smart boy
    Adorable Kayan
    Loves to play
    Visit Pal
    Adopt Bailey
    Family, family, family
    A second chance

    from “Pets of the Week,” Clearwater Beach Beacon, July 30, 2010

  43. The Dream of the Brave Bull

    By B.J. Lee

    There was a bull in a pasture –
    just a dairy bull –
    but it was a bull.
    I decided
    that he was very brave,
    a bull which would never give up.
    I would play that he was chasing me.
    I had to pit my intelligence
    against his.
    I dreamed there was a field in Spain
    where gypsies danced and sang.
    In the dream
    I didn’t have a cape.
    I would pass a coat before the bull.
    I wasn’t exactly afraid.
    I performed daring feats.
    I had courage.
    Later, some guests asked me to demonstrate.
    Some of them laughed
    and I wanted to leave the living room.
    A cousin brought in
    an old opera cape
    and told me
    it was a real bullfighter’s cape.
    I believed her for a long time
    and treasured it.

    from “Lady Bullfighter: The Autobiography of Patricia McCormick”, 1954)

  44. Found Poems are popping out of everywhere, even in ….

    Open a portion
    A portion of PEP
    A serving-size portion of red-hot-peppers PEP!

    Open a can
    A mega-fat can
    A Brunswick-Canadian-sardines-with-hot-peppers CAN!

    Dine daily and excel
    With an excellent source of good
    hot-ready-to-eat-value Pep-can.

    Source: Brunswick Canadian Sardines
    Source of iron and omega-3. Good source of calcium. Excellent source of…
    With hot peppers. Easy opening. Nutrition facts. Serving size 1 can. Daily value.
    Ingredients. Ready to eat. Since 1893.

  45. Awesome good-luck! Has this ever happened to you, David?

    Tired and groggy
    driving late at night
    whipping down side streets
    to get home a bit faster.

    Suddenly, an approaching car
    going the OPPOSITE way, flashes!
    FLASHES its high beams at YOU!
    Blinded, you sit up
    awake and alert
    checking all mirrors,
    s l o w i n g the car down …

    “What’s going on,” you wonder
    until, a few seconds later
    you pass the patient predator.
    Waiting . . .
    On the side of the road.
    W a i t i n g
    for its prey;
    its cop-car lights turned off.

    On you drive, UNDER the speed limit
    high-beaming, a thank-you smile,
    as you return the favor
    and light up somebody’s night!

    Source: Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome, p.216

    • Hmm. Well let’s say that I’ve occasionally been grateful for the warning winks of other cars. Good find. It’s something that most drivers will recognize.


  46. I had great fun, David, challenging myself with this creation…

    We are here, there, and everywhere
    beautiful poetry
    for the poet to find
    structure, arrange, and enhance
    with a twist here, a nuance there
    turning us into winners-for-sharing!

    Dip your talent into the hunt
    fish, scavenge and snap
    escape into the Found
    and flash the find
    into clever-heaven!

    Look, natural poet, and found
    perfect-pleasure fun.
    Exercise your passion
    Favour us into your magic!

    Source: David Harrison, Cory Found-Poems-Feedback, July 18-July 28, 2010

  47. David,

    I’m having a great time discovering poems in Children’s magazines too! The source is, Highlights for Children by Esther Kiviat entitled, Spadefoot Toads: Desert Amphibians. Enjoy!


    Desert grasslands
    Santa Fe, Mexico.

    Small, olive-brown creature
    Two and a half inches long.
    Related to toads and frogs-

    Live, survive in a dry world.
    Named for the sharp, hard black bump,
    Underside of each hind foot- “spade”

    Digging backward into sandy soil,
    Its secret burrow.
    Waiting for heavy summer rain.

    Water ditch,
    Muddy rain pool.
    Swimming in the puddle.
    Inflating huge vocal sacs.
    Courtship game.

    Newly hatched tadpoles
    Hoping around.
    Long tails, stubby tails
    Four legs, little toady bumps
    And two beady eyes.

    Race against disappearing puddle.
    Heavy rains,
    Life cycle start
    Over again.

    • Lucia, I love those Spadefoot Toads. They were featured not long ago on an NPR film about unusual creatres.

      Good for Esther Kiviat for writing about them and good for you for finding the poetry in her work.


  48. David, I love this version of the much-treasured classic. Donna Green performs magic with her illustrations.

    The Velveteen Rabbit

    And then a strange thing happened.
    A strange
    Out of the ground
    a flower grew.
    SO beautiful was it!

    Not like any-beautiful that in the garden grew-
    slender, emerald-green leaves,
    the centre, a golden cup blossom.
    SO beautiful was it!

    Little Rabbit lay there
    just lay there, w a t c h i n g
    watching it.
    And presently,
    out of the blossom
    a fairy

    SO beautiful was she . . .
    The loveliest fairy
    in the whole whole world.

    Source: The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams & Donna Green

    And then a strange thing happened. For where the tear had fallen a flower grew out of the ground, a mysterious flower, not at all like any that grew in the garden. It had slender green leaves the colour of emeralds, and in the centre of the leaves a blossom like a golden cup. It was so beautiful that the little Rabbit forgot to cry, and just lay there watching it. And presently the blossom opened, and out of it there stepped a fairy. She was quite the loveliest fairy in the whole world.

  49. As I plan my new day, David, I am reminded of how privileged I am to be here …

    The tale begins.
    On time.
    Renaissance begins . . .

    Time-here: a banquet.
    Be the tale-
    the fairy tale.
    Once-upon-a-time time begins . . .

    Source: PANORAMA Magazine, Summer 2009, Vol. 4 No. 2

    An advertisement for Banquet/ Conference Halls

    • Good morning a day late, Cory,

      I’m sorry I missed this yesterday as I flew around the site and then dug into that honey-do list that is slowly shrinking with each day since my return.

      I am so pleased that you are enjoying the camaraderie of this place. I love it that each day, as you, in your poem, remind us, “The tale begins . . . be the tale.”

      Thank you,


  50. Good morning, David,

    I enjoy this children’s classic because like the little engine, I, too often need to be reminded “I think I can”.

    You CAN do it…the list is vanishi….

    The dolls cried.
    The toys cried.
    Together the toys and dolls cried:

    “Please, Big Engine.
    Big Engine, oh, please!
    Won’t you PLEASE pull our little train
    over the big mountain, please?”

    But Engine bellowed.
    Strong Engine bellowed.
    Big Strong Engine BELLOWED:

    “A FREIGHT Engine am I.
    A BIG Strong Freight Engine.
    I have just pulled a train.
    A big train.
    A big train loaded with Big machines.
    IMPORTANT machines.

    I am VERY important.
    Very, very IMPORTANT.
    The likes of YOU
    I won’t help.
    The likes of YOU
    I WON’T pull!”

    And off Freight Engine P U F F E D.
    Over the mountain.
    Indignantly, indignantly, indignantly…

    The dolls were sad.
    The toys were sad.
    The toys and dolls were sad, sad, sad.

    Source: The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper & Loren Long

    “Please, oh, please, Big Engine,” cried all the dolls and toys together. “Won’t you please pull our train over the mountain? …unless you help us.”
    But the big Strong Engine bellowed: “I am a Freight Engine. I have just pulled a big train loaded with big machines over the mountain. … I am a very important engine indeed. I won’t pull the likes of you!”
    And the Freight Engine puffed off indignantly to the roundhouse. … and all the dolls and toys were very sad.

    • Perfect! This makes such a great poem and I especially like that you have focused on the big engine to show him off as the self-important brute that he is. Kids would really relate to this.


  51. This passage from THE POLAR EXPRESS had me going for a long time. These two versions emerged from the one source.

    No more lights
    No lights to be seen
    Through forests dark we traveled
    where wolves roam, lean
    Through wilderness white we roamed
    where rabbits hid, un-seen

    Through the wilderness-quiet
    Dark and cold
    Our train thundered through –
    the dark-quiet, no more . . .

    No lights to be seen
    no more, no more;
    through the dark we traveled
    cold cold cold.

    Through the forest we traveled
    dark dark dark
    where wolves roamed wild-
    lean lean lean.

    Through the wilderness we traveled
    in the cold cold cold
    where rabbits hid quiet-
    white white white.

    Our train thundered wild
    through the forest cold.
    Our train thundered wild
    through the forest old.

    The wilderness QUIET
    no more, no more;
    the forest THUNDER
    more, more, more . . .

    Source: The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg

    Soon there were no more lights to be seen. We traveled through cold, dark forests, where lean wolves roamed and white-tailed rabbits hid from our train as it thundered through the quiet wilderness.

    • Hi Cory,

      That’s a lot of poetry hidden — along with the wolves and rabbits — in one brief paragraph! Lovely too!


  52. David – here’s another one I “found” in Virginia Woolf’s diary. Even when she was just jotting down the day’s events, her language was beautiful!

    Night Lights

    By B.J. Lee

    the brimming sea
    the green sailing ships
    the island
    the sparkling, fading
    night lamps –

    from “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

  53. another haiku “found” in Virginia’s diary

    Blue Window

    By B.J. Lee

    a very fine skyblue day –
    my window completely filled
    with blue for a wonder

    from “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

    • I think that’s a good description of how writers work. We see something so special that we store it away to wonder at when we can get to it.



  54. another “found” haiku in Virginia’s diary

    Rose Window

    By B.J. Lee

    the most distinguished of churches –
    the rose window
    like a jewel on black velvet

    from “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

  55. This strikes me as a tanka “found” in V. Woolf’s diary


    By B.J. Lee

    the nightingales singing
    the sudden gusts of orange blossom –
    only the vineyards
    and the olive trees
    where they have always been

    from “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

  56. and my final “found” haiku for the day (I think :))


    By B.J. Lee

    the churchyard grass
    running over the old tombstones
    like green water

    from “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

    • B.J.,

      Thanks for all these Virginia Woolf discoveries. One could publish a book called The Poems of Virginia Woolf!


  57. I had FUN! FUN!! FUN!!! with this one, David.

    Everything he sees:
    MESS !!

    Flat on the floor
    when he’s
    MAD !!

    And he
    SCREAMS !!

    AND he

    go his two FISTS FISTS!!

    And he’s not

    My BIG problem is

    My brother.
    My Big-problem-brother.
    My two and a half year old big-problem brother.
    Fudge is ALWAYS in my way.

    And I DON’T like him.
    I don’t!

    BUT when he’s sleeping
    when Fudge is sleeping, slurping
    when my Big-problem brother is sleeping
    I really
    REALLY like him!

    Source: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Judy Blume, Ch. 1, p. 4

    My biggest problem is my brother, Farley Drexler Hatcher. He’s two and a half years old. Everybody calls him Fudge. I feel sorry for him if he’s going to grow up with a name like Fudge, but I don’t say a word. It’s none of my business.
    Fudge is always in my way. He messes up everything he sees. And when he gets mad he throws himself flat on the floor and he screams. And he kicks. And he bangs his fists. The only time I really like him is when he’s sleeping. He sucks four fingers on his left hand and makes a slurping noise.

    • Cory, a lot of big brothers and sisters would relate to this one! Thanks for digging it out for us to enjoy.


  58. A photograph captured my imagination yesterday and sparked this poem, David.

    A bow
    a gaze
    on tiptoe they rise;
    beak to beak
    squawking, squawking

    On and on the black-footed dance . . .
    The mate-ritual tango
    in Albatross Court

    Source: Frans Lanting, National Geographic Museum

    It begins with a bow. Then a gaze. Then they tiptoe, beak to beak. The dance goes on, intimate, noisy, a tango with squawking. Black-footed albatrosses, like this male, at right, and female incorporate vocalizations in courting rituals. These birds are banded as part of a long term study on Tern Island in Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

  59. Dear Found Poets,
    Thank you for all the poems you’ve found! I’ll definitely keep them in mind as I’m compiling my anthology. You’ve inspired me to keep looking for poems everywhere!


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  61. Hi David – Don’t know if the submission time is closed but – I just couldn’t help myself – I found another:

    No Excuses

    By B.J. Lee

    Outperform your classmates,
    easy as ABC.
    Overpower aliens and algebra.
    Choose your weapon.
    Upgrade your arsenal.
    Protect your gear from mass destruction.
    The future is at your fingertips.
    Push your imagination to the max.
    See it. Love it.
    Everything you need to succeed.

    From Dell Computer’s sales flyer – August, 2010

  62. Fresh from Concord, Mass. where I purchased The Language of Trees, David,
    a poem found its way to me.

    Into cobwebs,
    into porch screens,
    the faintest wind blows them.
    Frenzied and drunk.
    Drunk with love, consumed.
    Consumed by the search.
    The search for a mate.

    Sail-like wings stand
    from their thin bodies
    as they tumble, collide, and mate.
    Mate in the air.
    Frenzied and drunk.
    Drunk with love.

    Mayflies swarm
    landing on everything,
    everything in sight.
    Over the water females fly, after mating.
    Fly, after mating, dropping,
    dropping thousands of eggs,
    just before dying,
    just before dying;
    their children, sinking …
    to the muddy bottom.

    Twenty-four hours-
    A lifespan.
    Mayflies, in their glory.

    Source: The Language of Trees, Ilie Ruby, 2010, p. 24

  63. I went to Thoreau’s woods, David, to experience first-hand the inspiration of the space in which he lived. I was humbled…

    To the woods I went
    to live
    to learn
    to discover-

    To the woods I went
    to live deep,
    to reduce life to its lowest terms.

    To the woods I went
    to experience
    to know
    to essential the facts of life
    to live deliberately . . .

    Source: Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” 1854

  64. Yet another from Virginia Woolf –

    We All Fall Down

    By B.J. Lee

    bits of grey stone
    scattered on a paper-strewn green –
    all that’s left of the castle

    From “A Writer’s Diary” by Virginia Woolf

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