Found Poetry • Lynne Garner

Over the last 18 months I've been studying poetry. I've learnt a lot of 'stuff' including that sonnets and I really don't get on. I've also discovered I love counting syllables. I think this is because for the last 20 years or so I've worked to tight word counts. When writing for magazines you're given a word count to work with. Some magazines even provide a word count for different sections of the feature. So, I'm used to counting and aiming for a set goal.

Now although I like poems which rhyme I don't always like trying to come up with rhyming words. So I've been experimenting with Haiku and Tanka and mixing them with my photography. This is one of my first attempts:

During my studies I rediscovered found poetry and have been exploring black out poetry. Now because I have this 'thing' about destroying books I was delighted when I found an app that lets me create this form of poem without harming a single book. Here's one of my early attempts:

As I was coming to the end of my course I suggested to my boss (I teach adults and children) that I could now teach an introduction to poetry. This has meant I've had to go over my notes and do further research on other poetry forms. Whilst working on the planning for the found poetry session I came across a poetry form I'd never come across before - Spine Poetry. The idea is simple, you gather together books and use the titles on the spines to create a poem. It might be a simple idea but it's way harder than you think. Firstly you have to find enough books to give you options. Now, living in a house full of books you'd think this would be easy. It was but finding the 'right' books is where the hard bit starts. After scouring the many book shelves that fill our house I settled on the crime section. This is the result:

I'm now off to pull out a few of my natural history books. A couple of titles caught my eye and my next poem is beginning to take shape.

Blatant plug time

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