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By Johannes Helmold

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A fun way to compose a poem is to make a “found poem.” Why it is called a found poem is that you look through newspapers, websites, and books to find lines/phrases/words you enjoy and put them together as a poem of your own. You can find many examples of found poems on the Internet to get familiar with how it’s done.

What’s amazing about a found poem is how you can find many different lines, words, and phrases from varying sources and somehow make a poem that connects its ideas seamlessly. It’s a demonstration of how interconnected all of our thoughts, concepts, and inspirations are—and how this can form a new creative piece of its own.

Found poems are brilliant for when you are assigned to write a poem for class, but don’t know where to start. It is also useful when you are a seasoned writer and have writer’s block. But most of all, it is fun to find a bunch of random selections from a myriad of sources to put together a coherent poem. It is not an act of writing in truth, but an act of artistic discretion—knowing what to choose within different texts to form an awesome poem that sounds like a real poem in the end.

If you want, you can edit your found poem to fine tune it. There is no compulsion to keep it as it is (keeping the original selections the same from the source word-by-word). In the majority of cases, when someone writes a found poem, there is some editing done at the end to make it smooth and understandable for potential readers.

Here are some examples of found poems:

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