Today’s post is going to be quick and lighthearted. “I found a poem in a book!”
As I’ve been working through this month, you may have noticed I’ve tried to include some tips and info about the types of poems I’ve been writing, such as the Sestina, Free Verse, etc. Today’s poem falls under the “Found Poetry” category.
Found poetry is like a collage of words – somewhat similar to my Word Art collage at the beginning of this series. However, with that poem, I generated words I wanted myself. With a found poem, you would typically take an existing text–maybe a magazine you cut up–and use whatever you find to create your poem. Just like a collage, you take words and phrases and rearrange them to create a new text with a new meaning. Add lines, delete words, etc, and Voila! A new poem is born.
Found Poetry in Picture Book Titles
I saw this idea on Pinterest and had to try it. Collect picture books and stack them so you can see the titles. Arrange them until you’ve created a little poem by reading the titles top to bottom! Yep – that easy! (and really fun!)
Now I will give you some tips:
- Choosing thicker books is better, because you can actually read the title on the spine.
- You’ll go through a LOT of books trying to find a handful that will come together to “say something” or describe a scene. Fortunately, I have probably 400 (or more) picture books in our house, even so, I had to scour through all of them to create today’s poem. A better bet might be to visit the local library, as long as they don’t mind you playing around with the books (my guess is they won’t as long as you or your kids are gentle!).
- It helps to choose a theme or topic because then you’ll find the book titles work together easily. I choose books that talked about different parts of the day to create my poem, and just filled in with a couple other phrases.
- BONUS: If you use your children’s picture books, this can become a great memory-maker! Take a photo of the poems you “find” to save your poem AND as a record of their favorite books when they were small!
My World – A Found Poem
Hey, Wake Up!
Play with me–
Quick as a cricket–
One busy day.
See how easy that was? Even though I had to go through all our book (with a flashlight in our kids’ bedroom no less, because yes, I waited till the last minute!), I would say I only spent about a half hour on this little assignment.
If your kids can read, it’s a great way to have them enjoy “writing” poetry, and also to discover the joy and benefits of revising as they switch out book titles to get the right mix of words and phrases!
Let me know if you try this out! You can share a picture on my Facebook wall if you like!