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Monday, July 9, 2012

Look What I Found!

The workshop I attended in Iowa was all about letting our creativity run wild, instead of listening to those little "gremlin" voices - as our teacher Linda called them - who are always telling us to give up and become an accountant 'cuz this whole writing thing ain't happening for you, honey!

(Hm, sound familiar? Gremlins/gnomes - you get the idea.)

One of the exercises we did to spark the muse was "found poetry." We all got an envelope full of random words and short phrases that were either hand-written or cut from magazines, newspapers, scratch paper, shredded legal documents*, you name it. We could arrange the slips of paper any way we liked to form a poem. Now, I'm no poet. Janiel is. But I'm not really patient and/or sophisticated enough to follow most poetry. However, this is what I came up with:




A silver leaf soars through the open window,
so envious of the lights of heaven
A spyglass for the visionary, 
scattered, snapped clean, shooting skyward

A girl, on the edge of exile
a prisoner to pressure,
Whisking the next ones
resembling handwoven insults, natural, durable
They were the best of friends and the fiercest of rivals
not afraid to get soaked
They lived like sleek ballpoints, shifted, visiting,
kicking
A prelude to mesh pockets
and a sliver of hope. 

Not gonna lie: I'm rather pleased with my found poem. More importantly, I had fun doing it! This is something I have to constantly remind myself: creating is fun! Making stuff up should be play, not a chore. I wonder if this whole "found" thing would work for writing a book, too? I mean, could I just cut out 100,000 random words, mix them up in a hat, and arrange them into a manuscript? Yeah . . . probably not. But this is still a great exercise for getting oneself out of a rut. The next time you find yourself stuck, try a little found poetry. I'd love to hear what you come up with in the comments.

*That last part may not be true.

7 comments:

Cassidy Wadsworth said...

I'm pleased by your found poetry too :) What do you mean you're not a poet?

Robin said...

LOVED the poem! Serious love.

Janiel Miller said...

Ah, it takes a poet to put random words together like that. Loved it. :)

J. M. Dow said...

That was really awesome. There was a surprising narrative through-line in the poem. Great stuff.

William Kendall said...

That's a completely different idea!

Maegan Langer said...

Thanks, everybody!

Russo said...

I love that you added in a piece from your workshop, the poem was seriously cool. I love that you posted the bit about the "gremlin" voice telling us to quit. I needed that this week.

I also love how you said, "Creating is fun." Sometimes we forget the fun part. This is just a post that I loved all the way around.