Find Poetry

“Happy poets who write found poetry go pawing through popular culture like sculptors on trash heaps. They hold and wave aloft usable artifacts and fragments: jingles and ad copy, menus and broadcasts — all objet trouvés, the literary equivalents of Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans and Duchamp’s bicycle. By entering a found text as a poem, the poet doubles its context. The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles. The poet adds, or at any rate increases, the element of delight. This is an urban, youthful, ironic, cruising kind of poetry. It serves up whole texts, or interrupted fragments of texts.” — Annie Dillard – quoted from Found Poetry Review.

This morning I was out walking. It was a beautiful morning after (mercifully) the tail end of Abigail yesterday, and there was that spectral quality to the landscape which is normal for winter, but which we have been escaping due to the mild weather.

When I got back I found I found three small leaves stuck to my windowsill by the rain.


In other (non artistic work) I have been involved in this past while, I had been noticing visual arists collecting natural materials and so I brought them in and surveyed my own unexpected physical finds.  I tend to be more an observer than a collector but it’s always good to try something new.

And then in other work I’ve been doing, we had been looking at the difference between word and visual images – and what one can do that the other can’t and vice versa.

The short version of the story is that my three-leaf find began to appeal to the muse and I drafted a poem. Not a found poem, of course, though I love those times when a run of words that I happen upon – sometimes very prosaic – move and shift on the page until they seem, unexpectedly, to have other shades and depths of meaning, but what I am calling a ‘find‘ poem.

This blog is more about registering the background to the inspiration and more mundane parts of creative writing – but, as I have cleared some time to write, I am going to add some ‘find’ poems should finds cross my path. Hope you enjoy.

13 November 2015

Abigail and rain have passed over.

The morning after

windbreak trees are threadbare.


On my windowsill

I find three small leaves

held in place by a film of rainwater.


Three young leaves

but every bit as perfectly formed

as their bigger counterparts.


Three leaves who started late,

and yet, are all the browns

and golds of Autumn.


Different colours and species

these miniatures, unlinked, but found

together, they feel significant –


a kind of trinity of windfalls.



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