Found Poetry

Published July 5, 2012 by Elsa Pla

Writing found poetry is a lot of fun. “Found poems take existing texts [from any written source and any mode or genre, even poetry] refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. [A found poem is] the literary equivalent of a collage .” –

I was introduced to found poetry at the Denver Writing Project 2012 Summer Institute. Here’s my attempt at creating a found poem (written in honor of my favorite author, Ray Bradbury):

A Ray Bradbury Original

From “A Martian Joined Ray Bradbury and Me for Dinner in Paris” by Henry Fountain, New York Times, Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

He was a masterly writer,

a bit dressier than most

and so passionate about the subject.

That, it turned out, was no obstacle.

He wrote at least a thousand words a day,

and the wine kept coming.

A prolific signer of autographs,

funny, effusive, and genuinely friendly,

he carried around some felt-tip markers

just for that purpose.

So it didn’t really surprise me

when he knocked over his wine glass

on the white linen of the small square table

in a bistro on the Left Bank.

“My! That looks like a Martian!” he shouted

and opened his sport coat,

revealing five felt tips of different colors

lined up neatly in the inside pocket.

He added a couple of antennas

to the purple stain seeping across the tablecloth

and an alien face appeared—

A Martian in Paris.

He signed it and added the date for good measure.

It didn’t really surprise me

when a month or so later, I stopped at the bistro

and there was the tablecloth,

prominently framed on a wall

like a canvas from Picasso.



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