A Poem without Using your Own Words?

A poem without using your own words?  A Found poem is a very different kind of poetry because in this type of poem, you aren’t allowed to use any of your own words.  In this form, you can only use words that you find, whether they are seen on signs, read in books, heard, etc.  Sometimes, I take words from billboards, article titles, signs at my high school, and in my most recent one, I used only book titles from my bookshelf.  Sometimes they’re really random, and they can leave trails a trail of mystery or lingering questions.

My most recent found poem (using only the titles of books on my shelf):

Where the perfect sidewalk ends
you crash
into me
and a love, ruined,
fallen and blue
haunted me,
haunts you.

Smiles,
flipped,
you and me,
reinvented.
Lost in the
delirium
of questions
and a pretty
little kiss.

Eternal love
and a secret world
lost forever
in the mist.

At first, I didn’t really enjoy Found poems.  I didn’t like the lack of structure, and I was always looking for connecting words such as, “and, to, the, so, as, etc…”  But after awhile, it grew on me, and it’s interesting what words you can find, as well as how you can combine them.  I hope you’ll try the Found poem.  It’s not your typical idea of poetry, and it’s definitely unique.  If you really like free-form poetry, this would probably be in your interests because there isn’t a certain amount of syllables per line, it doesn’t have a rhyme scheme or meter, and lines can be as long or short as you’d like. They can be aggravating at times when you have a perfect word in mind and aren’t able to use it, but they can be really fun too, because it allows you to really be aware of the world and its words around you.

-Maddie

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