"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Found Poem Assignment

April is National Poetry Month
My worksheets for the found poem project
Today I am jumping on the idea to combine poetry and politics by creating a found poem from the words of our president. The idea is part of the PEN America/Writers Resist movement, using my writing voice in combination with other writers"in a collective stand to defend free expression, reject hatred, and uphold truth in the face of lies and misinformation." I stumbled upon this idea from Keri at Friday Poetry and Laura Shovan. Check out their sites for much better examples than mine.
Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.
My found poem is from the remarks by President Trump at a Black History Month gathering. All of the words were taken from the transcript of that meeting and they are in the correct order but I removed a lot of the words in between. Even though the poem seems to wander into uncharted and random territory, the meeting really did seem to dissolve into just random comments, totally unrelated to Black History Month. In a strange way the process of creating this poem was cathartic for me. I recommend it. Take a transcript from a speech made by any politician, preferably one that was delivered ad hoc, not written ahead of time, and see what you can pull out. Here's what I created from his words---

Black History Month
This is our little get-together. 
During this month, we honor the tremendous
     history of THE African-Americans
Throughout our country---
Throughout the world,
They're incredible people.
Frederick Douglass is an example
And is being recognized more and more.
Big impact!
(I don't like fake news.)
We need more jobs.
We're going to make it safe---
Much better than it is right now.
Right now it is terrible.
(I don't like fake news.)
This is a great group.
I want to thank my television star---
But I don't want to destroy her reputation.
Not quite, right?
(I don't like fake news.)
Why don't we start with you?
Go ahead.
That's a great idea---
Because Chicago is totally out of control.
And it is---I mean,
a lot of the media is actually the opposition party.
So it it a very sad situation.
(I don't like fake news.)
It's almost like, in the meantime, we won.
And we love the coal miners.
That's good stuff.
Thank you.

(Words by Donald Trump, from his Black History Month breakfast.)


  1. Beautifully crafted. I love this idea and reading your poem was cathartic for me!

  2. Ah, Trump. He has such a way with words :-)

  3. Very interesting - I've heard of this type of poetry before and yours really showcases it!


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