I am participating in National Poetry Writing Month, where the goal is to write one poem a day for 30 days. During the month of April, I will be using the writing prompts at ReadWritePoem.org and posting the results.
Day ten prompt (thrift store)
My sister loves to comb thrift stores looking for just the right object. She never knows what that object will be until she finds it. Sometimes she takes a photograph, and other times she buys said object and hangs it on the wall of her home, or she paints it and turns it in to something else.
The same can be done with text you come across in your reading. The challenge today is to find a passage of text, preferably from an out-of-print book, and turn it into a poem. This process is appropriately called a found poem. The Academy of American Poets has a great article about the history of the found poem, with links to examples by TS Eliot and Charles Reznikoff.
The basic strategy is to find a passage of prose, keep it exactly like you find it, but change the line breaks strategically to call emphasis to the aspects of the passage you find poetic.
One place to find these passages is on Google Books. You can search for a topic that interests you, and then you will see the words highlighted in yellow in the different pdf versions Google Books has available. Just make sure you write a note at the end of your poem crediting your source. Sharing where you found the idea for the poem is part of what makes the found poem unique.( Collapse )