NOTES - Found Poems - Crestwood Local Schools

Poetry Form: Found Poetry
A Found Poem, a Collage of Language:
found poem uses language
discovered in a non-poetic context
and turns it into poetry. Writing
found poetry is like creating a
collage of language, the way a visual
artist might use scraps of paper, cloth,
feathers, or other objects to produce
new and beautiful.
some potential sources:
instruction books, recipes
horoscopes, fortune cookies
bulletin boards
science, math, or social science textbooks
pieces of letters, post cards, phone
messages, notes you've written for yourself
• grocery lists, lists of all kinds
• spam e-mails (Well, they've got to be good
for something. But be careful not to click on
any suspicious links!)
Rules for Found Poems:
1. Keep track of where you get your words so
you can give source credit.
2. Forbidden sources: poetry, song lyrics,
commercial advertising, and anything that
is already “artistically arranged.”
Otherwise, anything goes: magazines,
books, assignments, textbooks, menus,
notes, newspapers, historical plaques,
obituaries, road signs, latrinalia, etc.
3. Copy the language in the sequence that
you found it. Double space between lines
so it’s easy to work with.
Rules for Found Poems:
4. Study the words you found. Cut out
everything that’s dull, unnecessary, sounds
bad, or is otherwise offensive.
5. Adding your own words to the found words
is “illegal” in this form and generally not
tolerated in official Found Poem circles. A
found poem is, after all, just that—found.
However, for the sake of this class, if you
need to add up to two words for the sake of
clarity or meaning, you may add no more
than two words. You may also make minor
little changes, such as in tenses,
possessives, plurals, punctuation, and
found text poem cut from 1800′s romance novel
• Look for several sources that you might use
for a found poem. Cut out the words OR take
photos of them (this can be especially useful,
if you wish to change the size).
• Look for photos, backgrounds, colors, etc.
that can help add to the found poem
• Bring these to class tomorrow to create a
found poem collage. If you wish to create a
digital found poem, bring your photos on a
flash drive or bring your camera AND cord
for downloading.