Found poetry is the literary version of a collage. The poems are made up of words taken from a printed document like a newspaper article, a speech, or in this case, the core values statement from the popular DNA testing service, 23andMe. The poet selects words from the document and rearranges them to create a unique poem.
As you may know, I am a children’s book author of mostly board books and picture books. I added Young Adult Fiction to my resume after taking a DNA test and discovering that the man who raised me was not my biological father. I wrote for therapy while searching for my “bonus dad,” which helped immensely. The poetry I wrote during that time became the basis for my novel in verse, The Complete Book of Aspen. One of the poems in the book is a Found Poem (page 219) which I’ll discuss below.
Using a word only once and not adding any other words, this poem was written by Aspen (aka me) after her world is rocked, and she sees a woman preparing to buy a DNA test kit at the supermarket.
Use the slider below to view the before and after of the pool of words from the DNA Core Values Statement (I highlighted the words I used) and Aspen’s Found Poem:
find more found poems here
- Writing a Found Poem: No, It’s Not Cheating!
- Found Poem: Where the Wild Things Are
- How to Write a Found: Thrift Shop Flowers
give it a try:
I hope you’ll try writing a found poem and share it with us. For those of you who would like to share or comment anonymously, I’ve created settings to allow you to do so. Simply reply without signing into your WordPress account.
learn more or buy the book here
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