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Wednesday Writing Prompt: Found Phrases Poem

I’ve always been jealous of my friends who are visual artists. How I wish I could sketch and paint and collage my way through the day. I’m especially intrigued by those who create using found objects. They collect unique items and leftover junk and use it to create amazing art. How I wish I could do the same thing with the words and phrases that float around in my head.

Well, maybe. Back in 2010, I wrote on my Dream Keepers blog about a poet who took his poetry to the streets of Atlanta. The Guardian reported that artist John Morse wrote haiku poetry using found phrases from ads. Here are two examples:

Build Personal Wealth!
In the Comfort of Your home!
Read to your children.

Lose ugly weight fast!
Feel Happier! Healthier!
Dump your bigotry.

Great stuff, eh? Morse’s Haiku poems have great surprise endings. Even better, they make the reader think. Morse wrote ten poems, made fifty copies of each, and posted them all over Atlanta.

I did a similar exercise with my Dream Keeper teen writing group. Here are two poems from one of my students:

Bethel Baptist Church
Rummage Sale is this Friday
How much for Jesus?
—Elisha Branch

No child left behind
Have faith in education
I’m ten; I can’t read.
—Elisha Branch

Your turn. Throughout the day, collect words and phrases on an index card or on a notes application on your smart phone. Use overheard words, phrases from billboards and trash, random dictionary words, and headlines from online articles. When you have enough words, play with them. Create a short haiku or sentence poem. Feel free to share it here as a comment!

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  1. Pingback : Found Phrases Poem « LynnLovesEditing

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