Random Acts of Finding Poetry

Found poetry is a term which usually refers to a combination of words and phrases from existing printed text. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/found-poem-poetic-form

I am intrigued by the randomness of found poetry, and also by the thought that randomness is integral to creativity.

The photograph which heads this blog was a found image, a random act of noticing and framing experience.  I began with the frying pan, which I was moving from the cooker to the sink after a meaI in a holiday cottage on the Antrim coast. The texture of the globules and the planetary shape of the pan’s surface captured my attention. Then I added the pepper, another layer of reality, suggesting a connection between the objects.

I think of creativity in general and the composition of poetry in particular as a set of processes of making connections – overt or covert, superficial and profound, between familiar and unfamiliar spaces, objects, experiences.  What all of these processes have in common is the joyful surprise that comes in the moment of finding.



Swans swelling on the glossy lake

like bells vibrating.

The sky paints drifting seagulls blue.


I thought I knew this path, but

sunlight reinvents the tree stumps,

makes mystery of the stones.


The poem falls towards me

like an autumn leaf,

clinging to my coat.



Narrative journey,

paragraphed by train lines,

predetermined aim and destination.

But an innocence of sunlight

over town and field and water,

reconfiguring the prose.

Unasked for, found poetry.



iron-slow birds adhering to the sky

lightbulbs disconnected

daffodils unopened

fireside with a wordless flame

waiting for the poem



No explanation for

this blended autumn sky,

no words for shifting colours,

no theory of the moon.


From an unnamed berry

sliding on my palm,

peeling back the layers

of an untasted poem.

© Shelley Tracey 4th November 2017



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