Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems.
The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems (Academy of American Poets).
Portions of Ezra Pound’s Cantos are found poetry, culled from historical letters and government documents, and Charles Olson created his poem There Was a Youth whose Name Was Thomas Granger using a report from William Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation.
This challenge is about making poetry from the news.
Doubling the context, as Annie Dillard wrote, so the original meaning is still there, and new meaning is created.
This is editing at its extreme:
- Find a current news article or comment piece. A longer piece will probably be easier to work with
- Highlight the interesting phrases and words you want to keep (or another approach is to delete everything that doesn't move you and work with what is left)
- Arrange your text fragments into a poem, paying attention to line breaks and rhythm.
We hope that you might find some inspiration in this week's writing prompt but as always if you would like to write something else - a diary entry, poem, your reflections on something else about your life at the moment - we'd be delighted to read whatever you would like to send. To go directly to the submission page and send us your writing, click here.