FOUND poetry is all about taking words that were not meant to be a poem in their original form, and turning them in to a poem. These words/phrases/sentences   come from newspaper articles, snippets of overheard conversations, recipes, interactions, letters… basically any written materials can offer “inspiration”.

The wording is not changed but your use of line breaks and cuts or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning. The resulting poem can be defined as either treated: changed in a profound and systematic manner; or untreated: virtually unchanged from the order, syntax and meaning of the original.

Pay attention to the world around you. Inspiration can be found wherever you look for it.



Read all about it.
The sweetest memories,
mystic & marvelous surprises
beyond measure
feed your imagination.
Dextrose; maltedextrin
treats await you inside.
Part of a healthy diet,
celebrate, discover; delight.
Entrance, intrigue and delight,
balance is key (Good to know!)
Just stand there
with your mouth open,
tremendous things are in store.
Greetings to you! Visit us anytime!

(Also processing egg and wheat that are shared!)

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

***Poetry found on a SweeTTarts Hearts bag!


Sara has shared two examples of Found poems:

Found Poetry 1 – InForm


that on any given day
you may be rattled.
Allow fudge served
with marshmallow fluff
to calm you.

from flowing clouds
hiding loud fire alarms
that you think are chasing
you. Take a deep breath
from an open window.

that you are hurt,
disturbed, and overcome
with grumpiness. Erase
emotions that nag at you;
talk to a friend.

your unfortunate lack
of tact and resiliency.
Stop shouting obscenities
at every opportunity.
Turn on soothing music.

a happy mood instead
of brooding over boredom.
Walk like a child, and people
will perceive you as a wrapped-
in-happiness person.

(C) Copyright Sara McNulty -2014

***Taken from Real Simple
(from a monthly column)


Found Poetry 2 – InForm


He takes pride
in his aptitude
with a firearm,
giving a thug 24 hours
to leave town.
Thug refuses to oblige,
draws his gun, but is fearful,
frazzled underneath false
bravado. He ends up dead,
par for the course.
Marshall is the consummate
cool hero, cowboy hat dipped
low on forehead, a personal
sense of justice.

(C) Copyright Sara McNulty – 2014

***Taken from, The Atlantic
Article on Elmore Leonard

140 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – FOUND POETRY


    (from usa today)

    The likes of winter
    Hungover in drunken stupor
    Overstayed its welcome.

    Winter’s ice slowly abates.
    Life pulses, bubbles, skates amidst the dearth.
    Spring aflickers, shakes beneath the earth.

    Furrows it’s brow at open expanse;
    Anxiously awaits the merited spring,
    Into action and recoiled newness upon us bring.

  2. Words taken from

    Capturing Stunning Winter

    Winter is an ideal time
    the sun low on the horizon casts a bright light
    over a wider area – beautiful

    The prime of winter
    moments of fresh snow,
    an untouched white canvas.

    Diamonds in the pines,
    bare limbs in snow and ice
    heavy-hanging, covered branches.”

    The sun on your back,
    sled with the family, walk in the forest,
    a good pair of gloves to stay toasty warm

    Picture the gray snowy scenes
    Look for a pop of color, a bit of color add(s) impact.
    Simple compositions in the snow.

  3. Israeli police Enter Holy Site to Disperse Riot
    (February 25, 2014)

    Today from atop the Temple Mount
    Where once in a past millennium
    Preacher Jesus mesmerized the crowds
    With talk of salvation and his father’s kingdom
    The same spot where Mohammad ascended into Heaven
    Ground zero now stages twenty masked Muslims
    In the interim between prayer and prayer
    Hurling rocks and firecrackers
    against armed Israeli police

    It is a question of whose Mount it truly is
    Since sharing is not a viable solution
    Who will lay claim to this iconic holy place
    The Muslims who call it the world’s third holiest spot
    Or the Israelis whose two ancient temples once majestically stood
    And where they pray down below at the West Wall
    That a third temple one day will occupy the mount
    Which should hold sovereignty over the site
    Who will lay claim, Jehovah or Allah


  4. Obituary

    Harry Weathersby Stamps,
    ladies’ man,
    natty dresser,
    and accomplished traveler,
    died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

    Harry is relatable and loveable.
    He’s not a man who focused
    on a laundry list
    of impressive academic
    or career accomplishments.
    He’s a guy
    who ate Vienna sausages on Saltines
    and considered it a splurge to get a campsite with a creek view.

    We all know someone like Harry,
    or perhaps we are
    a “Harry” ourselves.


  5. My Yellow Legal Pad – A Mystery

    when most people think legal pad,
    they think yellow paper and blue lines.
    The true origin of the yellow hue
    is actually a mystery.
    As far as we know…


  6. Why I write?
    Take pen and paper
    Answer it
    Even lie
    Answer it as though you know
    Don’t think about it

    (from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg)

  7. Wow! I don’t believe I have ever done this before. I think it will be hard to stand toe to toe with any of those!

  8. Born to be Tested

    Bring your confirmation,
    pay for your exams

    There are no refunds in life,
    you are excused but
    you may miss events.
    Plan in advance

    You are required.
    If you have questions
    regarding life,
    please see a counselor.

    ***Found on an Advance Placement Exam Registration explanation sheet from my daughter’s High School.

  9. A Rare Find
    “Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference
    (The definitive source for clear and correct writing)”

    Be careful with the
    of bungled series
    (also classified as
    bastard enumerations).

    The superstition should
    never be used more
    than once in a sentence.

    If the wear and tear
    of the principals
    easily distract the reader
    the sophisticated method
    can be converted
    to misuse of flat adverbs.

    Auxiliary verbs
    would reduce the
    five elements
    on the back covers
    of recent books.
    Double-check that the
    elements are parallel.

    The most essential part
    in every sentence accompanies,
    embellishes, assists, and refines
    all possibilities in the world.
    Nouns and verbs do
    everything else.

    Ellen Evans (c) Copyright 2014
    [a “found” poem for CB 2.26.14]

  10. Walt, Sara, you’ve outdone yourselves this time. I love your offerings and their example of creative license. I’ll return with something of my own and do comments on the other offerings so far. 🙂

  11. Ready….. Aim

    You’ve got your orders
    Memorize your target
    When the opportunity arises
    Make every shot count

    Failure is not an option
    There are no second chances
    There’s only one winner
    Don’t be left behind

    Hide in the shadows
    Wait for the right moment
    Focus on the issue at hand
    Don’t blink

    Use your own discretion
    The decision is yours
    Zero in on the target
    Point and shoot

    Get the job done
    Sell to the highest bidder
    Collect your reward
    Paparazzi rule

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  12. Stash the Flavor

    Ecological harmony,
    a legacy of clean healthy soil,
    embraces natural methods,
    creating flavors of choice.
    For tea drinkers,
    Organic is wonderful.

    Source: Mission Statement, Stash Premium Organic Very

    • Perhaps it’s because I don’t like tea, but this reminds me of a local supermarket that has its employees wear shirts that say “organic” on the sleeve. I finally said to one, “I’ve never seen an inorganic cashier.”

  13. And for my next trick–

    Frequent Flyer

    Miles—how far they fly.
    Watch—see how they respond.
    Only miles qualify for the elite.
    Perks waver, matching change
    In time and flight patterns.
    Wings spread, oceans below,
    Albatross glides over the depths,
    In search of fancier meals,
    Social tendencies on hold,
    It watches a world seldom touched.

    Source: AP News story on Yahoo–”Big Changes Ahead for Frequent Fliers on Delta

  14. DC Follies

    The Left
    The Right
    All they do is fight

    The Bad
    The Good
    Messed up neighborhood

    They scream
    They lie
    While we scrape to get by

    They steal
    They take
    Half of what we make

    They fill
    Their banks
    Without one grain of thanks

    They blame
    And shame
    And play corruption games

    We hurt
    We morn
    America is torn

    “No more!”
    We cry
    America can’t die

    The Left
    The Right
    Are they ready for a fight?

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  15. Today
    Today’s wake up call encountered flakes
    Looks like its a passing phase
    The flocks seem blotted in the sky
    But soon they’ll fluff some cotton pies
    Feathers rhyming from somewhere
    Navigating through the dare
    Life is flowing as we blink
    Coming, going, mixing drinks
    Unseen forces in progress
    Quander-ing, what comes next?
    My day, — contingent not on moves
    But a cool or wicked attitude

  16. Pingback: My Signature | Metaphors and Smiles

  17. My Signature

    What’s in a signature?
    A promise,
    a personality,
    a lifelong passion?
    Is it art-
    a shawl,
    mystically beautiful
    and shelled of lace?
    Is it the
    delicacy of silk-
    and gemstone soft?
    What’s in a signature?
    Is it color and light-
    snow crystal shadow
    inviting with texture?
    Is it woven-
    an island treasure,
    a tassel,
    a box,
    the feel of luxury,
    or beauty?
    What’s in a signature?
    Is it linen-
    a perfect weave
    and mothproofed for longevity?
    Is it sturdy and versatile-
    spun and dyed
    with a broad palette,
    is it a tapestry?
    Hooked, knitted or crocheted,
    is it inspired by the lighthouse,
    a cottage…
    Is it an artist and a teacher-
    what’s in a signature?

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    Pay attention to the world around you. Inspiration can be found wherever you look for it.

    That’s the truth…I didn’t know I’d be looking to the Halcyon Yarn Catalog for inspiration today…it is really beautiful though!

    Note, the only extra words I added were these kinds of words: ”is, it, and, or, the”

    and “my,” in the title to fit the Poetic Asides Wednesday Prompt.

    Happy writing poetical peeps!

    I apologize for my lacking presence in the reading way of writing…it has been trying to find and make time to write these days…not sure why, other than kiddos vacation last week…any way I hope to catch up or hop in soon. 🙂

    Thank you for the inspiration and poems, hosts!


    (Inspired by painting Beneath the Lilacs by Claude Monet)

    Just beneath the lilacs
    Under supercanopy of bloom
    Hidden from doom day sun
    Inhaling fragrances
    Sorting through memories
    Set on green carpet
    Old and new
    We paced down memory lane
    Reminisced fondness of times then
    That are now ingrained
    Upon our history written
    Thus we’ll ne’er forget our little lilac cave
    For whene’er we crave
    A moment to skip the present
    Steal a trip to times past
    And mist away fill our lungs with lilac

  19. The Centenarian

    -a found poem from “The Centenarian’s Secret” by Diane Spear Triant

    I braked
    Glimpsing a hand-lettered sign
    Today I am 103!
    Stop and say hello
    The centenarian
    Was sitting beside his rickety cabin
    Among a coterie of admirers
    Drafted in both world wars
    Owned a Model T Ford Depot Hack Wagon
    Still used a rotary phone
    And backyard well
    My notebook swelled
    A full-page feature accepted
    He died at age 105
    The story incomplete
    Old letters inside the cabin
    Tucked away in a musty bureau?
    Anticipation, excitement!
    History flowed from John Black’s pen
    Written to the centenarian’s grandmother
    The tedium of hundred mile marches
    A midnight raid into Rebel turf
    Capture and torture in a confederate prison
    An era gone by
    The power of writing
    The voice of humanity
    Stories live forever

    • For me, the way you wrote this calls to mind the nature of memory: snippets, pulled together to span a lifetime.

  20. Pingback: Taxonomic Trivia | Vivinfrance's Blog

    • Sorry – I didn’t get to read much as the day I posted my found poem I went to see my cardiologist and ended up staying in for 5 days (just back home) to have a pacemaker fitted. I now have a gazillion emails to sort out, so I guess last week’s offerings will have to wait!


    I found myself surrounded by rhymes
    beside the church, abaft the chimes;
    there’s nowhere else I’d rather be
    than this old graveyard beside the sea.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  22. I found this one quite hard . . . But here it is


    By Darlene Franklin

    lower case “e”
    as commonplace as my cell phone
    at 6:00 this cold, dark morning
    Me, semi-conscious
    Ron the Van Driver, busy until the Twelfth of Never
    My boss, incomprehensible
    My husband, talented sleeper
    “Why?” then “Why?” repeated
    He sleeps again
    I curse the 5th of November
    For making ramp and wheelchair necessary
    Sudden insight from decades ago
    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
    they shall run, and not be weary;
    and they shall walk, and not faint.
    Like a character in a Karen Kingsbury novel,
    God speaks to me in italics.
    My epiphany

    Based on “Epiphany and an epiphany” by Roberta Brosius at


    A barren, thirsty field
    grows nothing it can yield to sell
    and break the wicked spell
    of hardship’s living hell. No crops
    to share with local shops,
    the hunger never stops and fears,
    which bring the heart to tears,
    imagine all the years to come.
    Tomorrow’s hopes are numb
    and where a meal comes from is void,
    the harvest now destroyed.
    A past with days enjoyed will roll
    into an lifeless hole
    buried by the dust bowl, concealed.

    © Susan Schoeffield

    (Inspired by an article I read about famine conditions in West Africa.)


    Adam hid in the Garden of Eden.
    Jonah jumped a boat and was swallowed
    by a whale. Man likes to run
    from God. As soon as I could walk,
    I started running. The Big Boss;
    the Head Rabbi – if I saw Him coming
    down the hallway, I ducked down
    a corridor. He was tall and I felt tiny
    in His presence. I ran until He couldn’t
    see me anymore. We had once been closer,
    but I hadn’t really been around Him
    in twenty-five years. Man likes to run from God.
    But I was headed in the other direction.

    Poem culled from Mitch Albom’s book “have a little faith”.

    © Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2012

  25. Pingback: The Famine | Words With Sooze

  26. Pingback: Dreamcatcher | echoes from the silence


    Allow yourself
    to wake up slowly,
    over a matter of minutes,
    lolling about
    in your grogginess.
    Just don’t try too hard
    to hold onto those fleeting images.
    If you chase a dream,
    it’s going to run away.

    P. Wanken

    This poem was found in the text of Huffington Post’s online article “9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dreaming.”

  28. La Petite Wonders
    (A Little Garden to Walk In)

    busy as a bee –
    all decked out in sparkling dew,
    painting a rainbow.

    moon gardens
    and monarch madness –
    the surprise (of painted ladies)
    in secret gardens.

    along with the bees
    (down to earth,
    covering new ground),

    all she is
    is a little garden
    in fields of happiness
    making a world of difference —
    the perfect spot
    for new beginnings
    under the stars.

    PSC / 2014

    • Ooops! Hit enter too fast. Forgot t mention my source (CT Flower Show pamphlet – page 7) and my added words (all, and, for, in, is, she, she’s)
      Poem should be centered too, but I don’t know how to do that here. :-/ Can be viewed on my own blog in that format… if you are so inclined. 😉

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