About The “Found” Poem

I learned first hand about found poetry back in the 80s when I’d taken a poetry class at Chicago’s Harold Washington College. It felt bizarre to me and a bit like stealing when the instructor told us it was perfectly alright to visit another’s work and take snippits, phrases and sometimes whole sentence fragments from them and write our own poem! As to be expected we were assigned to write a “found” poem. I was skeptical at first, but managed to write a great little ditty about thanksgiving from borrowing stuff from other folks…If you think about it folks visit websites, blogs, books, and other forms of writings to lift themes, ideas and such from other creatives all the time and do quite well making a profit off of it!

Not quite plagiarism but, not quite cool either. Some writers have integrity whereas others don’t when it comes to making a buck. How do you feel about the “found” poem? Do you think it’s ok for writers to ‘borrow” from other writers work? I’m not a savvy writer, I’m just a writer, but I can honestly say, other than a few popular catch phrases like “how you doin?” I basically write from my own creative ideas without needing to borrow from another writer. Famous poets who have written great works from existing text includes, but not limited to:

William Carlos Williams. Charles Olson. Anne Dillard. Ezra Pound….


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