Found Poetry - February 25, 2022

A Found Poem is a poem or statement created from another piece of text. It can be rearranged text as in a cut-up poem where you literally cut out words and phrases and rearrange them into something new. It can be redacted text as in blackout poetry where you take newspapers (or other text) and completely cover all the text except your chosen poem with a permanent marker. Or, it can be a cento, which is a poem created from the lines of a different poem. The cento originated in the 3rd century and is also known as a collage poem. The lines of the original poem would be intact and arranged in a new way to pay homage to the original poet. 

Found Poetry as Self-Care

Found poetry is a great creative prompt to add to your self-care routine. It’s like getting your thoughts onto paper when you didn’t even know you had those thoughts! 

I like to take the process of blackout poetry combined with intuition by letting your subconscious guide you. Sometimes, creating a found poem as outlined below you will come up with a statement that has deep meaning to you and your current circumstances. Sometimes, your finished poem doesn’t make much sense - when that happens, try again. This process takes a little getting used to and might feel awkward at first, but the results can be so enlightening. 

I Need Energy (text from the found poem pictured)

I need energy
The inevitable good energies are known
The dreams begin a sacred and extraordinary event.

My space is my consciousness
to rearrange it 
is to clear mind

For now, an anomaly attempts to start instead.
Develop meditation and momentum as confusion can be cleared completely.

Try This

  1. Gather your materials: printed text (DON’T read it yet), pencil, and coloring tools (markers, pens, or pencils). 
    (If you do not have a printed paper to work directly on, you can look at a page in a book and write the words you choose onto a separate sheet of paper to create your found poem.)
  2. With your pencil in hand, scan the text from top to bottom underlining words or phrases that catch your attention. Don’t think about why, just underline and continue scanning. 
  3. When you have reached the bottom of the page, go back to the top and read the words you underlined. Do you like the way it sounds? If yes, continue to the next step. If no, then scan the text again and underline more words or phrases. Add in connecting words as necessary until you like the way it sounds. 
  4. Next, block out all the words you did not underline using your markers or pens. 
  5. Read your finished poem out loud to yourself and listen for any messages you’re telling yourself through the poem. 
  6. Lastly, write the date and your self reflection thoughts about the poem on the back of the piece.

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