What is Found Poetry?

I love the written word. The beauty that can be found in just the right words, put together just the right way to make me feel something. And I cringe when writers of prose tell me they’re not poets. Of course they are. Poetry is prose with line breaks. And Found Poetry is a beautiful example of that.

The Academy of American Poets (poets.org) describe Found Poetry as follows:

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…A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.”

Many people don’t think it’s a legitimate medium or a “real” poem. I disagree. I’ve taken a few of my favorite writers and positioned them in such a way as to turn something already beautiful and romantic into a new work, with a different heartbeat, a different cadence, a different breath, ultimately, a different work of art. Take Virginia Wolf’s reworking here:

Or Seamus Heaney:

Or even this from Jean Webber:

I’ve even taken bits and pieces of my own novels and older blogs and found passages that I felt captured an emotion, an image, a moment that was worth putting into the still-life of a poem, which I will share in a slide show below.

I challenge you to join me and The Nu Romantics every Friday for the #FoundPoetryFriday writing prompt. Every human being who breathes life on this Earth is a poet. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It is what makes us indeed, uniquely human as Walt Whtiman reminds us.​

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Originally published at rbobrien.weebly.com.

Originally published at rbobrien.weebly.com on May 5, 2017.