rita ackerman

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Found Poetry


I’ve been in various writing groups and taken numerous workshops where writing a poem was part of the challenge. I’ve never felt comfortable with poetry although I’ve been making myself share some of my past attempts here.

I do have one favorite way of finding poetry inspiration. “Found poetry” is taking a page from a book and circling words or phrases to make a poem.
We recently did this in my writing group. I presented each person with a few pages from an old copy of  Jane Eyre I found at a thrift store.

Here’s the page I had and the resultant poem with only minor changes.

I felt it pass away without regret.scan0003


The door was ajar for a while

She left, in a glance.

The sobbing wind,

A soft excitement.

Its spirit follows, you smile.

A  rosy sky lies at my feet.

I waited for evening

To search deeper.












See how easy that is? One of the ladies in the group, who balks at poetry as much as I used to ended up having so much fun she asked for more pages to take home and try it some more.

Even if you don’t want to “write” a poem this technique will put you in the “writer zone” in nothing flat.

Here’s another:scan0001


The light of a half-moon streamed through the window

I was the only person risen

A journey prepared for. 

 I passed through the door.

The moon set on wet steps

A chill morning.

A light reached the door

But a few minutes.



Another way to use “found poetry” is to white out all the words you don’t want like I did in the following canvas. I submitted this to a book about art journaling and was excited to have it accepted.

Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art by Quinn McDonald


For  those not familiar with art journaling it is the combination of art and journaling in about a million different forms. This particular “page” I did on a canvas with acrylic paint. The dancer was cut from a magazine and painted around with the book page worked in. The hedge on the bottom was also made from painted book pages. You can see some of the words peeking through.

Try keeping a few book pages handy for inspiration.

I’d love to see your poems.






  1. Sandy says:

    Wonderful ideas! Glad I stumbled upon your blog 🙂

  2. What fun! I knew about Found Poetry, but have never taken part in an exercise using pages torn from a book. I’ve written some poetry – mine tends to be literal, story-telling verse, devoid of metaphor and beauty. There are a couple on my blog:http://wp.me/P3MZbd-y

  3. Your poems are fantastic! I love finding poetry in the most unexpected places – book pages, covers, and street signs – pouty is everywhere! 🙂

  4. melissajanda says:

    I love the idea of uncovering a poem in the pages of a book. I’m not much of a poet, but I need to try this!

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