What do you think about “Found Poetry?”

Found Poetry, Repurposed Poetry, Literary Poem Collage“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

According to The Found Poetry Review, “Put another way, found poetry is the literary version of a collage. Poets select a source text or texts — anything from traditional texts like books, magazines and newspapers to more nontraditional sources like product packaging, junk mail or court transcripts — then excerpt words and phrases from the text(s) to create a new piece.”

Being an old school music fan, I often find it a little disconcerting to hear sampling of old compositions or songs that are created into modern works by new artists. Old school delved into the heart and soul of rhythms and emotions, albeit not that different from today. However there was an authentic and unique delivery from it that makes you remember the original works. While in order to create, we get inspiration from a myriad of sources, but although some of the experiences may be the same, we tend to deliver it differently.

When discussing the concept and method of “Found Poetry” with a few other poets, I get a mixed reaction from many. It is a different type of composing, but I think we all agree that in a way, it somehow feels like we are infringing on the rights of the original authors, depending on how much of their context is used. I think understanding how far you can go, will leave any question of copyright infringement or plagiarism off the table.

While Found Poetry is definitely making its presence and mark known in the literary community, what are your thoughts on this type of poetic expression? Do you think it is insulting and disrespectful if someone uses parts of your works to create something they call their own? Does this type of poetry inspire a new generation of compositions? I call this “Repurposed Poetry!” What are you thoughts? Seriously!


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