Last time, we talked about Impostor Syndrome, how many of us struggle with feeling like a fraud. This often dovetails into a nasty cycle of over-achieving as a coping mechanism to shield us from feelings, failure, pain, etc. But, like many coping mechanisms, they can be great for the short-term but a living hell if…
The idea for this poem originated from a blog post written by The Taler called Found Poems. In it the author explains how one can take an excerpt from a written passage and create something different, for instance a poem. In my piece I’ve chosen words from Dennis O’Driscoll’s No Thanks and Frank Horne’s Walk. Mixing phrases around like a bag of scrabble letters, I’ve managed to come up with a somewhat different context, which I must say was fun!
Franks Horne’s poem Walk may be a challenge to find online, but I was in love from the first stanza:
I am trying
to learn to walk again…
all tensed and trembling
I try so hard, so hard…
O’Driscoll’s No Thanks became my mantra years ago, and I chuckle at this poem every time I read it. You should read it, too.
Your Turn: Take a passage and ‘remix’ it. Feel free to share under comments or via a post. And if you want to up the ante, take several passages and see what you can mash-up.
An excellent creative exercise. I loved it!
If you have ever absentmindedly re-arranged some word magnets on your neighbor’s fridge, you have already created a “found poem”. These exercises are a great way to encourage creativity under constraints. In brief, a found poem is a poem that consists entirely of words already present in another source. You are “finding” (or creating) another message using the same text. There are a few different ways to do this, but my favorite is to physically cut up a sheet of paper and reorder the pieces.
Writing Prompt: Found Poem
- Before meeting, choose an interesting excerpt of literature; poetry or prose. It should fit on one page of paper (In the photo above, I used a passage from the Bible; The Magnificat from Luke 1:46-55).
- Print copies of the excerpt, one for each participant. Make sure that the text is not spaced too close together, or it will be hard for…
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We never knew our way around this place
Content to navigate blindly
The lost leading the lost
I tripped you up and picked you up
You tripped me up and picked me up
Love kept us going,
Invested efforts in the wrong direction
Never knew our way
Method to My Madness 🙂
*Inspired by Day 5 of Writers Digest PAD Challenge
So, around midnight, I started thinking, what can I do for day five? As we know, this is what my brain does at bedtime.
Slowly, a bundle of words emerged:
We never knew our way around this place, but we were content to navigate blindly, more like the lost leading the lost. I tripped you up and helped you up, you tripped me up and helped me up. Love kept us going, or pride. Invested an effort in the wrong direction. We never knew our way.
Well, not that bundle of words. It was more like a destruction of words:
sms aka whatevertheyaint 11/17
Initially, there’s this raw space. We may wonder how it got there, or more importantly, why it’s there. Perhaps we conditioned ourselves early in life to bandage wounds and carry on, so we slap a Band-Aid on it until it festers, not realizing that giving it time to breathe is better than covering it over.
Then, somewhere during the process, a scab forms. There’s this protective layer now, and we go about our daily routines as we did before. That is until we accidentally bump that spot, exposing it again. Maybe we overestimated ourselves, or maybe we were just trying to…forget. In any event, there it is. And yes, it still hurts.
An undetermined amount of time passes, and we notice the scab is now a smooth scar. We run our fingers over it, remembering that unsightly place. But we can do it now, we can run our hand across that area. It reminds us that grief cut us open. Yet, we survived.
- I can only speak for my own experiences. Like most people, there have been more than a few negative events in my life, but I learned to just acknowledge them and allow myself to go through the process. This poem came from waiting on a sore to heal on my leg and then, at random (which tends to happen when I’m ready for my brain to SHUT DOWN), thinking how wounds are a lot like the process of grieving, or dealing with any life-changing event.