National Poetry Month: Day 18

Found Poem

I found this poem nestling in the dirty cracks between the seats of a bus it read you are alive until you’re not and then you’re dead a perfect piece of poetry I thought and would have said had I not been travelling alone with only the music in my headphones to keep me company on my way home a perfect piece of poetry which summarises neatly all the words in my poems which so often defeat me when I’m trying to arrange in thought and word and deed in what becomes an unthinking empty screed of rhyming words upon a page it sums up without taking an age and this is what I read

you are alive until you’re not
and then you’re dead.

— Delilah Des Anges

The concept of “found art” is well-known as a convenient get-out for those of us who really cannot draw or paint and “found poetry” occupies a similar conceptual space; the idea that poetry is created naturally by accidental combinations of words in overlapping adverts and graffiti or in the accretion of notes in the margin of a text.

In this particular poem (where I’ve abandoned the usual structural device of shorter lines, end-stopping, or drawing attention to rhyme with any other method, but rather left it as a chunk of rhythmic prose) the idea of a found poem is toyed with – the “found poem” in question does not exist – as the central platform for the rest of the work, but it is not a found work.

Throughout this month I will be nagging readers to donate to MSF


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