Tuesday Tryouts: Poems on Things That are Found

28 Jun

9:00 a.m. — San Antonio –> Walnut Creek

Hello dear readers. Tell me you didn’t see that coming! I was going to wait a week and throw you off balance but for the life of me can’t remember the exercise I was going to do this week, so found items it is. The exercise runs the same, but found includes a whole branch of poetry.


Start by thinking about and then listing all the things you have found in your life. Leave room for notes with each item. You can do a companion piece to your lost poem, but make the list anyway. We are always on the lookout for topics to write on, so, resource pool! Possibilities include, a pet who was missing, a new word, a friend, your way [can be literal or figurative], an opportunity, an insight, a branch of the family tree, something you thought was lost.

Next to each find jot notes on what you remember. Try to include as many concrete and sensory details as you can.

Then, jot notes on any feelings and emotions you associate with each find.

Pick one from your list of things found. Decide whether you want to write in free verse or one of the forms we have been playing with or, indeed, a form you like but we haven’t played with yet. Choose the point of view — will the speaker speak in first or third person? The choice affects how the poem comes across, so you might choose one and mentally try the other once you have a draft. Consider whether you wish to include feelings, or just tell the story. Decide on the speaker’s tone: happy, ecstatic, tongue in cheek, humourous…your word choice will support the tone. And, if you don’t remember the whole story, make up whatever you need to convey the story you want to tell.

Then we have found poetry, poetry found in words already written [the most common form], or a photograph, or a painting, or a piece of music [no words]. Rather than make this post longer, if that interests I have given you links to the posts where I went over approaches to found poetry. I tried to give you the start of each and if you are still interested then keep moving forward in posts. I have the found poetry running over several days. If you aren’t, for some technological reason I have not thought of, able to access any pages, let me know.

Write and then post so we can read the results.

If you have questions do ask; if you think someone would enjoy this, click on the buttons below.

I shall see you on Thursday for another reader suggested topic: enjambment; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for…yes, another open prompt. Ta dah! I know! What is with me? Don’t get used to it.

Happy writing all.


Posted by on 28/06/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


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30 responses to “Tuesday Tryouts: Poems on Things That are Found

  1. brenda w

    28/06/2011 at 9:08 am

    Yay, you’re doing enjambment this week! You rock, Margo.

    • margo roby

      28/06/2011 at 4:43 pm

      I aim to please, but let’s see how articulate I am, Brenda. Although Mike Patrick may have taken care of the whole thing. Wait til you see the poem he wrote on enjambment!

  2. vivenne blake

    28/06/2011 at 12:41 pm

    I like. I just wish it was our cat who was found! Minouchki has been missing for 3 days. Pray that when I come to write the poem (having done all your exploratory exercises, naturally) that it is he that is found!

    • margo roby

      28/06/2011 at 4:45 pm

      Well, Viv, the exploratory exercises will keep you for a few days so we all all hope Minouchki is found in that time.

  3. wordsandthoughtspjs

    28/06/2011 at 3:34 pm

    Margo, I like this prompt and will try to get to it in the next couple of days. Viv, I hope Minouchki comes home. How sad.


  4. margo roby

    28/06/2011 at 4:45 pm

    Looking forward to it, as always, Pamela!

  5. anjum wasim dar

    28/06/2011 at 6:53 pm

    I walked on the pages of history
    and discovered poetry

    I stepped on the stages of mystery
    and discovered imagery

    I gazed at the rages of fires and flames
    and discovered slavery-

    I stood for hours in the extensive graveyard
    And discovered bravery

    I lay critically in intensive care unit
    And discovered recovery,

    I clutched the Religious Rope tightly
    and discovered the depths of forgery;

    Drenched in mud and dirty blood
    I discovered the soul’s cemetery;

    I prayed, I believed,I kept my faith
    I see the Gates of Heaven
    I am, but still in Purgatory…

    If I have been true, in Allahs view
    Surely then I will enter The Promised Holy Vinery

    • margo roby

      28/06/2011 at 10:47 pm

      I do love when you use repetition, Anjum. I also like the listing of what you found and the hope of finding more.


    • vivinfrance

      29/06/2011 at 4:35 am

      This poem is right up my street! But I would prefer it without the final couplet – Last week I was learning to avoid using summing-up statements in my poems, and to leave the reader something to do! It seems to work, and my poems are better for murdering my darlings!

      • margo roby

        29/06/2011 at 12:57 pm

        Have you read Stephen King’s memoir On Writing, Viv? No matter your genre it’s worth a read. One of his tenets is: kill your babies. If you like something too much in your writing that’s a clear signal it should probably go.

  6. pmwanken

    28/06/2011 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Margo…

    Re: “FOUND”
    As I’m walking through the exercises of my book, I’ll forego the exercises you outline here…and will post a link to a poem that has already been written: WHAT LIES BENEATH.

    Looking forward to it! Did you end up picking up Fry’s book, too?? And I’ll be popping over to check on Mike’s work!

    Re: VIV
    I have two cats (Tigger and Lucy)…I don’t know what I’d do if one of them went missing. Praying for your kitty to come home, Viv!


  7. margo roby

    28/06/2011 at 10:50 pm

    Paula, my links will be there and if Fry doesn’t cover something, you can always come back later.

    I went to look for his book but the store did not have it. They told me I could order it on spec when I return to Atlanta, so I shall hold off, but I am at 85% that I will probably pick it up.

    Off to your place to look at the poem.


    • vivinfrance

      29/06/2011 at 4:39 am

      Margo, You will find it on Amazon: ISBN 0-09-179661-X- The Ode Less Travelled has been my most consulted book since starting to write poetry – in fact it caused me to start poeming when my daughter gave it to me for Christmas in 2007. It is also a good read!

  8. short poems

    29/06/2011 at 2:41 am

    I like this prompt and will try to get to it!
    Thanks for stopping by and the lovely comment.
    Marinela x

    • margo roby

      08/07/2011 at 12:33 am

      Welcome, Marinela! Come back any time and it doesn’t matter when you get to a prompt. You can post anytime 🙂


  9. margo roby

    29/06/2011 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you, Viv! I look forward to the book even more.


  10. anjum wasim dar

    29/06/2011 at 10:19 pm

    I have found flowers
    I have found flowers
    And the cool winds feel softer
    Dry leaves are lifted
    Waves are visible in the grass
    And I know
    That Nature with her delicate ear
    Hath heard the dropping of the velvet
    Footsteps of Spring
    There’s to me, daintiness about these
    Early flowers, that touches me like poetry

  11. margo roby

    29/06/2011 at 10:31 pm

    So different from anything I have read of yours, Anjum. I love the whole feel of the poem, especially the last two lines.

  12. Tilly Bud

    30/06/2011 at 6:26 am

    • margo roby

      30/06/2011 at 10:18 am

      Yes, Tilly. So glad to see you join the gathering!


  13. anjum wasim dar

    30/06/2011 at 7:36 am

    A Vision Found

    and then I see you,
    not your image,
    but you yourself outlined,
    smiling quietly, you descend –
    I wait , trying to comprehend
    your vision-
    your thoughts take a form
    and enter my world forlorn,
    I have no way to stop or hold
    the charming intrusion,
    I just feel the emptiness,
    filled with silence, cold-
    I reach out, only to touch
    I am engulfed in the fold
    of a soft serene essence
    tender, misty , comforting,
    a sense unexplained, untold
    is it real or is it a dream
    I think, I try , I begin to cry
    and drown into a happy numbness.

  14. wordsandthoughtspjs

    30/06/2011 at 5:06 pm

    Margo, here is my attempt. It is not autobiographical, but it could be for someone I suppose. It feels like it is not quite finished, sigh…


    I wish I’d never read it

    • margo roby

      30/06/2011 at 6:56 pm

      I know, Pamela. I have some poems I have been working on for years and all I know is they are not done. One thing I do play with when I am not sure what needs doing is to change the point of view. Try it with a she and try it with a he. I am always amazed at the difference it makes to the poem. I may go back to I, but often not.


  15. brenda w

    30/06/2011 at 7:03 pm

    My piece is’s about how an old playground friend helped me find a better way to live. Thanks for being here.
    Reviving Spaz

    • brenda w

      30/06/2011 at 7:11 pm

      I gave the link to the preview…sorry. Here’s the corrected link. I consciously used enjambment in this piece. Thanks for the discussion this morning. 🙂
      Reviving Spaz


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