The Found Poetry Collaboration 2014
For the next 4 weeks poets Lydia Allison, Kate Garrett, James Giddings and Joanna Lee will be writing 1 piece of found poetry per fortnight:
A found poem is created when words in an existing piece of writing are lifted from that writing and rearranged to create a greater emotional response. A found poem is shaped from a collection of words or phrases found in one text or a selection of texts to shape an entirely new poem.
The poets are free to use any texts they like, and I throw in one found text of my choice per fortnight just to mix it up a bit. For the Week 2 poem I chose a section of a letter from a former patient of Jung quoted in Anthony Storr’s Solitude (you’ll find the section at the bottom of the post, should you wish to read it).
on the pathology of nihilism
by Joanna Lee
with clammy skin the heart cascades
much as a mass of cold knowledge
falls from the gut: septic, humoral,
jugular; a clot of air in the lungs blue-
highlighted with the less
clinically obvious algorithms
of life. i titrate swelling
mortality with strokes of fever,
and ought accept the loss i was,
a distal necessary pulse
with a dropped
mask and muscled jaw.
forever is a bedside curve
of sun and shadow, not
as i wanted it to be but
dissolved to a heavier,
taller, younger equilibration.
only fools demand nothing.
i could never have imagined
our thrust was the resuscitation
of ordinary activities such
as breathing, to force
reality like a balloon
into the femoral vein,
the bleeding quiet but
part of a letter from a patient of Carl Jung, quoted in Solitude by Anthony Storr and Fundamentals of Surgery by John E. Niederhuber, chapter 15, “Shock and Resuscitation,” by Adam Siever, MD
Out of evil
by Lydia Allison
much good has come to me
quiet, attentive, accepting
reality – they are, and not to be
such as could before.
When we accepted things they overpowered us.
I intend to play in this way accepting everything.
What I was:
Keeping nothing remaining,
taking things as I want them,
doing all this – unusual knowledge,
unusual powers I have imagined.
I always thought in some way or other
to be true towards the game
of life – receptive whatever –
good, bad, sun, shadow – forever,
my nature side’s alive.
Fool! How I tried
to go according to the way
I ought to.
*Created solely from the words from Jung’s letter.
I’m the girl who is lost in space
by James Giddings
forever fading away by keeping quiet,
by accepting reality and taking things
as they are: some party someplace, or
some picnic in the park, the Soviet Union.
Ideas and feelings are fast and frequent
as shooting stars. The fast ideas
are far too fast, and unusual knowledge
has come to me; the right words and gestures
are suddenly there like the Cheshire cat:
the warm artificial smile, clownish curve,
the kind you see on villains in Disney movies.
You find interests in uninteresting people.
I intend to play the game of life – sun and shadow
forever alternating – everything more alive.
You never knew those caves were there.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Part of a letter from a patient of Carl Jung, quoted in Solitude by Anthony Storr
by Kate Garrett
in darkness –
receptive to evil
i can’t tell
in a cage
with a wire screen
to starve your beauty.
beware the first
principle of anti-choice:
bland words, no life,
accepting torn sex
as your birthright.
Poem – title included – created solely from words found in an extract from Solitude by Anthony Storr, and the songs ‘No Love Lost’ by Joy Division & ‘PCP’ by Manic Street Preachers.
To find out more about Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna please visit:
Lydia, Kate, James and Joanna will be back on Tuesday 8th April with some more great found poetry. Tomorrow, you’ll find Poet Lauren Coulson’s final poem in her nest series (with audio). Thank you for your interest.
If you missed out on the first round of found poems you can find them here.
*Full text of the piece I sent the foundlings:
Out of evil, much good has come to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality-taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be- by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before. I always thought that when we accepted things they overpowered us in some way or other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume an attitude towards them. So now I intend to play the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good or bad, sun and shadow forever alternating, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was. How I tried to force everything to go according to the way I thought it ought to! (195)