Poetry Discussion 2, Found Poetry, Approaches

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Laurence55's avatar
In my previous journal, I gave a general overview of the poetic style known as Found poetry. I discussed the definition of the style and briefly described the differences between "treated" and "untreated" found poems. In addition, I linked three of my own found poems which can be seen here.



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

In this journal, I will present my personal approach to writing found poetry. While there is no set standard for how a found poem should look, there are a few things to keep in mind which will make approaching the style much easier. I had initially planned to further delve into the nuances of treated and untreated found poems, but I have decided to reserve that for the next journal. :nod:

As a style that is built from recycling other texts, found poetry uses seemingly disparate lines to form a collage of the speaker's emotion or thought. For me, the process starts with a general idea. This idea can be love, anger, philosophical thought, etc. The theme is kept general so that I have wide variety of words or phrases to choose from. As the phrases come together, the more streamlined idea will form naturally. What I have always found interesting is that as the poet chooses what they will incorporate into the poem, the audience gains a clear picture of what words or phrases most appeal to the poet. In this way, we gain a glimpse of the poet's subconscious thought before the poem itself is even constructed. What texts you choose for your found poem is completely up to you! I personally enjoy using National Geographic Traveler because of the vivid imagery. I have also used other magazines and even graffiti from bathroom stalls. :D :ninja:

One thing to also keep in mind is that sometimes the theme does not form until you are putting the lines together. That too is okay as there are different ways to approach the process.

Building the poem from the gathered texts is both fun and challenging. In my opinion, it is the most important part of the writing process. By organizing the lines, the poet is challenged to examine the structure of language and the manner in which words can be rearranged to present entirely new ideas. As a result, the full potential of each word is utilized. What I have often experienced is that I will record many lines but only use a few. That does make the process longer at times, but much more fun. :juggle:

The physical structure of a found poem can vary. However, because the lines (unless the poem is untreated) are coming from different texts or articles within the same text, there will be a slight sense of disjointedness. This is both appropriate and welcome in found poetry. This style is not made to flow seamlessly, but rather to present how an idea can be unified even through a seemingly cracked lens. As such, found poetry, and especially treated poems, often appear abstract.

Where you choose punctuation and line breaks is also personal preference. I am the first to admit that I am not an expert in comma placement. I simply try to punctuate in a manner that allows to poem to be read clearly.

So in a nutshell, here are the steps that I usually follow

1. General idea
2. Choosing lines, phrases, or passages for the poem.
3. Organizing the poem-including omitting/adding lines, punctuation, and sometimes even formation of idea.

So there you have it! For me this formula works the best, but there will always be exceptions. As always, the most important thing is just to have fun and challenge your own ideas. :heart: :strong:

In my next journal, I will be delving a little further into "treated" and "untreated" found poems. I will discuss why I feel each one is important and list some sites to view found poetry. :peace:

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
© 2008 - 2024 Laurence55
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MeNTaLPSyCHo's avatar
I have just read your journals about found poetry, and it makes me want to try some new technique, and this one seems interesting (: