Poetry Discussion 1: Found Poetry, Definition

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Laurence55's avatar
Hey guys, being that Tanka Awareness Month is over and the official Haiku-Wrimo does not begin until July, I have decided to take a moment and discuss the poetic style known as Found poetry. In this three part series, I will be discussing the definition of found poetry, advice for approaching the style, and my ideas on how the concept of found poetry is instrumental in understanding juxtaposition and other poetic devices. For me, the final topic is of great importance because it is beneficial in understanding the shifts that occur in many of the Japanese short forms. :nod:

Although most of you know me for my work in the Japanese poetic forms, the concept of found poetry is one that has influenced not only my thoughts concerning creativity in stanza structure, but also my outlook on the nature of language in general. :heart:

Found poetry is the rearrangement of words, phrases, and even whole passages that are taken from other sources and reframed as poetry. This transformation into a poetic structure is accomplished by applying changes to spacing, lines, or by alterations to the text (by adding or deleting words).

There are two distinct styles of found poetry. "Treated" poems occur when the text of a literary work has been changed dramatically. Treated poems are usually the result of taking bits and pieces from distinct literary works or by differing articles within the same body of work. "Untreated" poems are much more conservative and usually preserve the structure and meaning of the original work. Of the two, "treated" poems are usually more prominent and in my opinion are most useful for allowing students to reconstruct language and the meanings behind various words.

Many theorists attribute the origin of found poetry to French Uruguayan poet "Isidore Lucien Ducasse." Ducasse, who was said to be a surrealist, experimented with found poetry in his extensive work "Poésies." Although he would pass away at the young age of 24, the work of Ducasse ensured that the ideas of found poetry would be further explored. :dance:

For me, the benefits of studying found poetry can be seen in the manner in which a particular piece is constructed. Found poetry not only causes me to explore the boundaries of artistic freedom in my work, but also the manner in which lines and phrases can be "transmuted" into entirely different meanings.  I have posted three found poems on DA so far They can be seen here. :D



The War of Evolution-laurence55.deviantart.com/art/…

That is all for now. In my next journal, I will be exploring the manner in which a found poem is constructed. I will also delve deeper into the differences between "treated" and "untreated" found poems. In addition to my journals, I will be posting three new found poems. Stay tuned! As always, please note me with questions, comments, or rants :D :peace:
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PunknEra's avatar
So I suppose that one must be careful where they take their inspiration, right? National Geographic is pretty safe, but drawing phrases from a poetry anthology and "reconstructing" them into your own poem is risky, and possibly wrong! :)