Poetry Discussion 3, Found Poetry, Treatments

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Laurence55's avatar
In my previous journal, I described my personal approach to constructing a found poem. I discussed the physical structure of found poetry and the artistic benefits of searching for texts to incorporate within a poem. In addition, I linked three of my own found poems. These poems, now four with the addition of my newest piece, can be seen here. :below:



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

Skin Deep-laurence55.deviantart.com/art/…


In this journal, I will be elaborating on the previously mentioned styles of found poetry. These styles, known also as “treatments” describe the manner in which the chosen texts are manipulated for the poem. In found poetry, there are two distinct treatment styles. These styles are “treated” and “untreated” poems. In addition to discussing the main branches of found poetry, I will also take this moment to introduce the concept of “Cento.” Cento is personally one of my favorite methods, and one that is not very well known. :nod:

While I will discuss “untreated” poetry for the purpose of this journal, I do not feel it allows writers to experience the full process of “recycling” their chosen texts. :no:

As I mentioned previously, treated poetry occurs when the text of a literary work has been changed dramatically. In a treated poem, the text is altered to the point that the original work is often unrecognizable. This manner of writing requires that the poet use their editing skills to weave the lines into a cohesive format. This process of building the poem allows writers to examine and redefine the relationships that exist between words. For me, this is important because it illustrates how simply restructuring words can open entirely new avenues of discussion and thought. :nod: :whisper:

Far more popular than untreated found poetry, treated poems are usually the result of taking bits and pieces from distinct literary works or by different articles within the same body of work. In my opinion, completely reconstructing sentences prevents students from simply plastering lines together without consciously thinking of their placement in the poem. In the words of Linda Austin, “good found poetry takes work.”

…and some craziness I might add ;-)

While treated poetry completely dissects lines and passages, untreated found poems work by keeping passages and lines in pretty much the same format. While I am not a fan of found poems that are too untreated, the technique can be used effectively when writing a cento, which I will introduce shortly.

Whether a found poem is treated or untreated, the process of putting one together is essentially the same. The difference lies in how much the text is restructured. :nod:

In addition to treated and untreated found poems, there is a third method known as Cento. Cento makes use of lines or stanzas coming only from other poems. Cento poems can be classed either as treated or untreated, depending on how you space and break up stanzas. Another interesting aspect of Cento poetry is that lines can be repeated. :jawdrop:

That is all for now. In my next and final journal about found poetry, I will be discussing the issue that I feel is most important for anyone wishing to experiment with the style. This is the issue of copyrights (insert dramatic theme music). Being that found poetry is comprised completely of lines from other texts, it is very important that you state what works or articles you actually used. This journal will probably be the most involved as I want to be sure I include as many details as I can. All suggestions are welcome. :please:

I would also like to take this moment and thank :iconesin: for not only bringing this topic to my attention, but also helping me with research.

Stay tuned! As always, please note me with questions, comments, or rants :peace:

P.S.- I have listed some links here with information about found poetry and examples of the style. check them out :below:



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livingtoxic's avatar
Found poetry reminds me of assemblages and collage in arts.

Treated found poetry seems like a interesting way to learn about poetry, for beginners and experienced poets alike.

Thanks for the bringing up the topic of 'found poetry'. Very useful resource!