The Found Poem

Try this writing exercise for overcoming blocks, shifting perspectives or stretching the imagination. The technical aspects of this exercise keeps the left brain busy so the right brain can freely imagine.

The found poem, variation 1: Take a stroll through the grocery store with paper and a writing utensil. Write down interesting words as you encounter them. Create a form by making arbitrary line and stanza breaks. Be as random as you like. In lieu of the grocery store, try a retail store or the public library.

The found poem, variation 2:  Find book which contains hundreds of pages. Turn to different page numbers as they coincide with a significant number. For example, think of an important date and use those numbers as your guide. If the important date is June 12, 1930, for example, you might turn to page 6, page 12, page 19 and page 30 of the text. Feel free to rearrange the numbers in any manner. Each time you turn to a new page, close your eyes and drop your finger somewhere on the text. Use the words or sentence closest to your finger as a line in your poem. Don’t over think this – just jot down the first words your eyes land on. Do this several times with a series of significant numbers until your poem reaches its ideal length.

Most of all, have fun.

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