A Found Poem is the literary equivalent of a collage. It is created by taking words, phrases or passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in the order of the lines, spacing, and punctuation to impart new meaning. Text may be added and/or deleted, but any changes should be minor.
Inspired by Shannon Noel Brady’s LET’S DEWEY THIS, I went to the library to “find” a poem. I randomly chose ten books, one from each block of the Dewey Decimals (the 000’s, 100’s, 200’s, etc). With eyes closed, I opened each book and pointed to a passage, then copied it down. The found poem didn’t come together immediately, in fact, I got frustrated and stuffed the notebook in a desk drawer. Recently, when I came across it again, the phrases somehow made sense. I left them whole, changing nary a word, and arranged them into a logical order, which resulted in this Found, Lost, and Found Again Poem:
RIDING ON A WHITE HORSE
There is an element of chance
in everything except knowledge.
Danger is always lurking
even if we cannot see it,
for the public cares intensely
about clean air and water but
hardly at all about the big invisibles.
We broke the cycle; we were just like,
“This isn’t going to go on anymore.”
Having marched to the brink
of heaven and hell,
we abruptly pulled back
toward the music we heard
from the old carousel.
Now, the realm of God is at our door.
It seems even more beautiful
than we remembered.
There are no boundaries;
the only rule is “break the rules.”
Beneath no one, superior to no one,
we are full of magic,
mystery, and enchantment.
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