Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chickens & Found Poems

Hope, Georgia, & Chickens in 2010

Students - This is a found poem. This means that I did not come up with these words on my own, but rather, I found them, tossed a few, and formed them in a poem shape. calls a found poem "the literary equivalent of a collage," and I think that's a perfect way to describe this form.  You can read more about found poems at

Here is the passage from which I rearranged the poem, "Chicken."  It's from page 29 in YOUR CHICKENS, by Gail Damerow.  You can see that I kept almost all of the words, only losing a few that felt like fillers for a poem.

The expressions "playing chicken" and "don't be such a chicken" come from peck-order squabbles.  When two evenly matched birds try to decide which one is higher in rank, they may face each other and remain motionless for several minutes.  The one who turns away first loses.

Speaking of found poems, my found poem "Artist's Advice" will appear in Georgia Heard's new book of found poems, THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK. I can't wait to see it.

And now...MADNESS! It's the first-ever-Ed DeCaria-hosted MARCH MADNESS for poetry! Yep, a poetry tournament. We began as 64 poets at the beginning of this week. And soon, we'll be down to 32. Then...16. We will split and split until there is only one poet standing. How will this be determined? By readers and voters! Head on over to Ed's blog, Think Kid, Think! and check it out. You can see the bracket, the rules, the poets, and the live scoreboard. Lots of fun! Many thanks to Ed for taking on this huge project and bringing us all together in such a playful way.

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  1. I LOVE found poems! We use them all the time - it's a great summarizing strategy for kids when they are reading, too. They are able to form the text into their own understanding. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I like the way you rearranged your words, Amy, & imagine students would see this as something they could do, too. Best wishes in Ed's Madness. My poem is up today-what an anxious moment, but there are some really great poems I've read so far. I'll do them slowly so I can give them some real thought.