Thursday, 12 February 2009

Found Poetry

I suppose anything can be a found poem, if the finder finds it such. However. In 2008, when I started trying to write poetry, I also enjoyed finding lines everywhere that seemed to me to resonate, have rhythms, have something 'underneath' the words.

I played about on the Internet, finding places where poems 'appeared'. Found Poems aren't 'the finder's', though... the lines belong to others. So when I submitted a couple, expecting nothing, I always put the original sources in, and saw myself as 'choirmaster' or something. I did not expect them to be picked up, but they were, both by outlets of Ravenna Press.

Snowmonkey published Found Poem, HERE last month. All it is - lines from the suicide notes of the following, found on a website, selected from among many many others:
Virginia Woolf, Hunter S. Thompson, George Sanders, Terry Kath, Jon Erik Hexum, Kurt Cobain, Nicolas Sebastien Chamfort, Robert E Howard, George Eastman, Freddie Prinz, James Whale and Sara Teasdale.
But I thought the accumulated words built into something strange, it felt very wierd. As though all those people were in my study with me, nodding....

The partner of this found poem, Too Late For Fruit (I loved those words) was made up of lines from the last spoken words of some well known names, found on the same website: Stonewall Jackson, Amelia Earhart, Emily Dickinson, Victor Hugo, Jessica Dubroff, O Henry, Thomas Edison, Louis B Meyer, Pancho Villa, Woodrow Wilson and Walter de la Mare. Too Late for Fruit, published on Alba early in 2008, HERE

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