Found poetry is a term for poems that are composed from words and phrases found in another text.

This site contains links to articles, poems, videos and resources on writing found poems, and keeping your eyes, ears and heart open enough to find them.

You'll also find my own found poetry here (by way of example and illustration) plus a weird and wonderful assortment of creative quirkiness, invitations to the life poetic all, that I've found on the web.

Finding Poetry

Poems hide in things you and others say and write. They lie buried in places where language isn’t so self-conscious as ‘real poetry’ often is Dunning & Stafford
The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words. William H. Gass, from A Temple of Texts (via wordpainting)

(via apoetreflects)

The poet must not only write the poem but must scrutinize the world intensely, or anyway that part of the world he or she has taken for subject. If the poem is thin, it is likely so not because the poet does not know enough words, but because he or she has not stood long enough among the flowers—has not seen them in any fresh, exciting, and valid way. Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook (via litverve)

(via journalofanobody)

What a great poem teaches you, and it’s not intellectual at all, is the resonance in the language that’s heard there. This goes back to the very origins of poetry and to the very origins of language. I think poetry is as old as language, and both come out of the same thing—an effort to try to express something that is inexpressible. If something can’t be said, what do you do? You scream. W. S. Merwin (via proustitute)

Frozen Moment: photo card of a found poem

Frozen Moment: photo card of a found poem

Frozen Moment

Frightened, heavy with a strange melancholy.
Each night smaller. Down into - right down to the -
Merely thinking of it could make one cold
So cold
The hole in which - fast in the ice -
They could no longer see.

Then all at once a great flock of autumn.
The sky filled with golden brown
As the sun danced and the clouds hung
Splashed in its splendour.

The leaves floated so lightly on the wind
They were flying so high, so high
Around and around - like a wheel
Spread so lovely

Out flew a cry - so shrill and strange
Took hold of them, away from the cold
Such a strange feeling - 
They looked straight ahead
Trying to capture such loveliness
As if stunned,
Back to life.

From The Ugly Duckling. Found by cutting up the lines of a two page section of the story, and moving the lines around until they formed a shape, then cutting out the words that were no longer needed.

by entering a found text as a poem, the poet doubles its context. The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles.

Annie Dillard

The Tattered Coat » National Poetry Month: Annie Dillard

Poetry is song. No one asks, What use is song? What use are birds? Poetry has no use. It matters because of its inutility. One-Track Mind by Leopold Froehlich

Echo of a Moment

Still remembered death

A vicious affair

Just senselessness, entirely,

An echo,

A brief moment,

Bold and ironical,

Lost to her forever.


From chapter 1, The Brothers Karamazov

The poet knows that he speaks adequately only when he speaks somewhat wildly, or ‘with the flower of the mind’… not with the intellect alone but with the intellect inebriated with nectar. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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