Happy Friday, everyone.
I was at the grocery store last night and realized, at the checkout, I couldn't stop myself from scanning the celebrity magazines. Brad and Angelina's rumored wedding is off. The Teen Moms are getting married, divorced, pregnant again, put in rehab.
We all have drama in our lives. Celebrities get to share their highs and lows (okay, their crazy) with a wider circle of "friends."
What a great source for a poem. The characters and emotion are already there! All it needs is a form.
Enter, Found Poetry Review. Poet Patricia VanAmburg tipped me off to this online journal, based in Maryland. Found Poetry Review is somewhat strict in its definition of found poetry. If you're going to send them work, the source material must be provided. Making deletions from the original text is okay, but adding words is frowned upon. Composing this kind of found poem might be a fun exercise for your high schoolers as they learn to research and cite sources.
I visited Found Poetry Review and fell in love with -- of course -- a celebrity poem. The title caught me first. How could you not love a poem called, "Fudge Pot?" And when I read the source, I loved it even more.
|Mmm... the Culinary Alchemist blog is making fudge.
by Thomas Pyner
Something has happened and I want to celebrate that.
I am not sleeping. Last night
we got hot dogs. We had cheese
on the hot dogs and then I had to have pizza
and then I had to finish it off
with fudge pot.
Read the rest (and the big reveal) at Found Poetry Review.
Writing a found poem can be challenging. The aim is to take the source material and put it in a form that reveals something new, either through line breaks or light editing.
Writing a celebrity found poem adds another layer. The poet must listen for idiosyncrasies in the celebrity's speech, for moments when something odd or revealing is said. The poem becomes a portrait and the name of the "sitter" is like a punchline.
Here is my rough attempt at a celebrity found poem.
Feel What I’m Singing
by Laura Shovan
Someone asked me the other day,
they said, Etta, you know
you had a roller coaster of a life.
But if I, if I didn’t have a roller coaster
how would I, how would I know?
How would I be able to
sing about the things?
How would I be able to
feel what I’m singing about,
the ups and the downs,
the highs and the lows
And I love, I really do
I love the highs and the lows.
I think that’s put some fat on my head.
Next time I'm at the grocery store, I'll have a good excuse for checking out the celebrity rags. I am looking for material, people.