e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “found poetry”

Found poem – Party On

Pleasure pavilion

My motto is

Keep calm and party on

so, when I found in The Art of the Chinese Gardens (published by China Travel & Tourism) a lot of place names associated with inviting guests, drinking wine and generally being sociable, I knew I must make a poem out of them.

The result is below. It may actually be more a semi-found poem as the short connecting lines are my invention.

Party On

Once, in the
Twilight of the Setting Sun
Near
The Sunlight Welcoming Pavilion
In our
Garden of Harmonious Delight,
Guests arrived,

Through
The Gate for Inviting the Moon,
Into
The Pavilion for Bestowing Wine –
Pearl of Shichahai.

They chattered in
The Pavilion for Enjoying the Scenery
Danced in
The Hall of Cheerful Melodies:
Our
Places of Mutual Affinity.

Later we left
The Moon Inviting Terrace
For
The Tower of Clear Voice
In
The Musical Gully.

Today
The Solitary Hill
And
Snow on the Broken Bridge.

The original of the  picture is in the Walters Art Museum. The picture is creative commons from Flickr.
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Found poem – The Grandeur of Imperial China

3032-1I’ve been reading The Art of The Chinese Gardens published by China Travel & Tourism. It’s a beautiful book with photos and descriptions of some of the most important gardens in China.

Chinese gardens contain many named features – pavilions, rocks, viewpoints, hills, studios, temples and others – the Chinese seem to have a talent for inventing evocative and beautiful names. There are scores here.

Such titles lend themselves to found poems, and I’ve gleaned several from this book. I believe that for true found poetry I should have only used the findings, but I can’t help adding and, in this poem, the short connectors are mine.

The Grandeur of Imperial China

On
The Hill of Accumulated Elegance
Beneath
The Imperial Vault of Heaven
Sits
The Palace of Nostalgia
This is
The Mansion of the Prince
The Mansion of the Prince of Gong

In
The Circular Grace Mountain Villa
House of Year Round Delight
Are
The Wafting Fragrance Chamber
The Ten Thousand Volume Hall
And
Lady Young’s Pool

From
The Throne for Viewing the Waterworks
In the
Mansion of the Sacred Lord of Yan
He sees
An Ancient Theatre
The Grand Theatre of the Garden of Harmonious Virtue
And
The Tower of Heavenly Emperors

Across
The Five-Pagoda Bridge
Between
The Park of the Grand View Pavilion
And
Shuanqing Villa
We reach
The Villa of Secluded Beauty
The Emerald Grace Garden
The Hall of Happiness and Longevity

Semi-found poetry

My last post was about found poems and their sources. Another springboard for verse I’ve discovered is in part-overheard part-sentences on trains and buses or other public spaces.

I’m not talking about listening in to other people’s talk, but hearing snatches as someone walks by or calls out to a friend.

Often the words are jumbled and unclear, but this is poetry and I can take what’s given or change it depending on how the Muse is that day and hour. In fact, if it was clear I would change it to become unrecognisable; I wouldn’t feel right reporting, in any way, exactly what someone said.

The result may be humorous and is usually surreal.

I’ve lost my bone,
On the lower deck.
I’ll buy a louse,
With twenty of them blackberries.

Keep on fishing the well.
A day of clear water.
He told a lie.
What’s in his cider?

So this is what I call semi-found poetry – it starts with the found, but gets edited, sometimes quite a lot.

Found poetry

I have a liking for found poems, and so do several other WordPress bloggers. If you search the tags for ‘found poetry’ or ‘found poems’ you’ll find some interesting posts. There’s also a journal; The Found Poetry Review.

There are poetry and poetic sources in the most unlikely places. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of gardening books. It won’t surprise anyone that there’s much poetry there, but I’ve particularly come to like the chapter and heading titles.

Eastern Tranquility
Cool but colourful
Music and movement.

Pot up a fountain,
Spouting forth

Trickling trio
Percolating through.

Water …
Going with the flow.

 

Sources: Inspired Container Gardening by Stephanie Donaldson and Container Water Gardening by Philip Swindells.

 

Found poetry and huskies

List of husky namesRecently I attended a meeting at the British Antarctic Survey building in Cambridge. Outside the main entrance is a memorial to the dogs that worked for the Survey from 1945 to 1993.

For me the list of names is found poetry. I can imagine them being recited with the sounds of barking dogs and hissing antarctic winds in the background.

The names are so evocative: Hairybreeks and Hobbits are friendly, but would I want to meet Terrors or Gangsters? I’d love to shake paws with a dog called Moomin, even though I don’t know what his name means.

There’s quite a bit of poetry about huskies on the web. One called My Husky Team about a race to the Pole has a ballad-like start and an amusing ending.

I met a man who mushed
with Peary to the Pole.
Said I, ‘In all that land so hushed
what most inspired your soul?’

Another that I like is on a site called Dogster. It starts with a statement of the achievement of the Siberian huskies.

You conquered the toughest country
Ever created on earth.
Where you led, man followed your footsteps,
And the North was given birth.

I don’t have the names of either of these poets, but I admire their work and their praise, amusing and serious, for the husky.

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