As a “teacher” I am always trying to find new and creative ways to encourage students to write. At my job one of the activities I teach is Creative Writing. This past week, I took a suggestion from one of my colleagues, and tried found poetry with them.
Found Poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.
I did a listening version of this with them, as I read aloud-Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” students were asked make a list of all the words they heard that jumped out to them. From that list, students then wrote their own “found poems,” and we shared them.
After seeing how well it worked, I decided to give it a try myself. It was interesting to see how some students kept in the same darker theme of the story, while others went a whole different almost uplifting route. It’s amazing where the mind can go, and how simple things can spark creativity.
Here is a link to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart
My list of words I gathered included; Heart, ill, control, mad, powerful, heaven, hell, sounds, Listen!, reason, loved, hurt, money, vulture, terrible, dies, animal, cold, blood, warm, friendly, evil, clock, careful, door, success, afraid, dreaming, blue, ice, strong, louder, painful, silence, dark, anger, fear, beating, stone, trouble, quiet, hear, stop, suffering, playing, game, smiles. [47 words chosen]
My Found Poem: [32 words used]
Clocks ticking everywhere
You can hear
We give time so much power
It’s a mad little game we play
that steals away our smiles
to the sounds of dreaming
to your heart-beating
Reason deep within and strong
Terrible fear takes away control
Quiet trouble no one knows
Fear of failure
Dreamful heaven turning ice blue
Has hell frozen over
Ill like a vulture
Careful not to forget
Open windows instead
Smile your way to success
*I do not take credit for the concept of found poetry, nor Mr. Poe’s literary work I used as inspiration, nor the image used.*