Found poetry can be as profound as original, traditional poetry. The difference? The words are found in existing texts, then edited and arranged in new, poetic ways by the poet.

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Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

A pure found poem consists exclusively 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.

Here are some sample found poems from previous classes and a few online sources.