Oct 15, 2014

On Finding Poetry . . .

My book nook is all but finished. I just need to sew up the cushion for my back, find a light source for inside it (because my hubby wants his clip on light back), and stash the boxes I have sitting all around my office in the bench. If I can get all that done by next Wednesday, maybe I'll do a post about it then. But in the meantime . . . I "found" a poem I'd like to share. :-)

This isn't a new poem, it's one I wrote a couple of years ago. Or maybe "wrote" isn't quite the correct word - I didn't write it so much as create it because it's a Found Poem. A Found Poem uses words and phrases from another source, generally some kind of everyday written material (e.g. headlines, lines from a television program, advertisements) but combines them in new ways.

A pure Found Poem (which is what mine is) consists entirely of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.

Writing a Found Poem is like an artist making a collage. You take bits and pieces that are pleasing to the eye and join them together to make something new and beautiful. It can really spark your creativity as you put together things you wouldn't normally think of as fitting.

There are all kinds of sources for Found Poetry: Newspaper or magazine articles, books, horoscopes, textbooks, letters, notes, spam e-mails - I even know a poet who created a beautiful Found Poem from graffiti.

I have not been able to discover what the etiquette is regarding citing the source for a Found Poem, however I “found” my poem in the introduction of the book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Wild Woman

We may have forgotten her names,
we may not answer when she calls ours,
but in our bones we know her,
we yearn toward her;
we know she belongs to us and we to her.

A sense of her comes through vision;
through sights of great beauty.
I have felt her when I see
what we call in the woodlands
a Jesus-God sunset.
I have felt her move in me
from seeing the fishermen
come up from the lake at dusk
with lanterns lit,
and also from seeing my newborn baby’s toes
all lined up like a row of sweet corn.
We see her where we see her,
which is everywhere.

She comes to us through sound as well;
through music which vibrates the sternum,
excites the heart;
it comes through the drum,
the whistle, the call, and the cry.
It comes through the written and the spoken word;
sometimes a word, a sentence or a poem or a story,
is so resonant, so right,
it causes us to remember,
at least for an instant,
what substance we are really made from,
and where is our true home.

The longing for her comes
when one happens across someone
who has secured this wildish relationship.
The longing comes
when one realizes one has given scant time
to the mystic cookfire
or to the dreamtime,
too little time to one’s own creative life,
one’s life work or one’s true loves.

We eventually must pursue the wildish nature.
Then we leap into that forest
or into the desert
or into the snow
and run hard,
our eyes scanning the ground,
our hearing sharply tuned,
searching under,
searching over,
searching for a clue,
a remnant,
a sign that she still lives,
that we have not lost our chance.

The Wild Woman has no name,
for she is so vast.


Anonymous said...

Carol, nice work with the found poem. I like the way you pulled things together. Cheers, Ardee-ann

C R Ward said...

Thank you, Ardee-ann!