Monday, November 26, 2007

Eight Threads from the Morning News

"Found poems" are fascinating, juxtaposing random words and phrases from written source materials such as newspapers in such a way as to suggest any number of meanings. It is an avante-garde form, I suppose, since the found poem creates a tone more than anything else. I first discovered this form by reading Annie Dillard's Mornings Like This, a collection of her found poems. Below is a found poem I did a few years ago based on one page from the morning paper.

Eight Threads from the Morning News

This column is dedicated to the professional hairstylists of the world.
The sad tale begins.
I wasn’t concerned.

On New Year’s Day, Debbie discovered a lump in her breast.
On Saturday, the woman was walking, talking, laughing.

More than 300 Baptist students wore 50s style clothes
and ate root beer floats delivered to them
by parents on roller skates.

What’s going on?
It’s your call.
Dark sunglasses are good.

A standing-room-only crowd responded to the symphony.
Basically Beethoven.
“This is what we work for,” he said.
“To have an overflow crowd, and I think we have it.”

Then, contemplating the box of hair color,
I remembered I’d been damaging my hair.
The moral of this story:
when it comes to your roots,
trust only the experts.

Signs have been posted
encouraging area residents
who witness littering
to report the incident.

Personalities are cloaked in closets.
I think about tales I hear from a co-worker.
I think of my daughter’s closet.

Copyright, William Hammett, 2003


Wayne said...

Hell that's a nice idea. I recall reading something about that somewhere. I don't remember where. I like the last three lines most.

Shameless said...

Hey, I like this .... being a journo and all. I love the mixing up of things, and then seeing that stuff actually does relate! :-)

Shesawriter said...

"Signs have been posted
encouraging area residents
who witness littering
to report the incident."

I don't like snitches. ROFLOL!

writtenwyrdd said...

I've thought for a long time that one could make some really cool found poetry from spam headers. Been sending mine to a friend for use, as I just don't write poetry these days.

Billy said...

Wayne, yeah, I came across it by accident too :)

Seamus, almost spooky the way things go together, plus it's fun to do!

Shesa, snitches--LOL off with their heads!

WrittenW--spam, yes, indeed, this kind of form can come from anywhere and spam sounds like an excellent source.

Wayne said...

We should run contest on one of these?

Billy said...

Cool idea, Wayne. I'm down with the flu, but when I feel human again, it might be fun. Thanks.