The Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems

Overview

Twitter feeds, school notes, advertisements, street signs—find poetry in the unlikely places with thirty comtemporary poets.

 

Imagine picking up a scrap of paper off the floor or reading a sign at a gas station or looking at graffiti on the subway and finding poetry in these words. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poems take existing text, reorder and refashion it, and present it as a poem. Youthful, urban, and ironic, this energetic and surprising poetic form ...

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Overview

Twitter feeds, school notes, advertisements, street signs—find poetry in the unlikely places with thirty comtemporary poets.

 

Imagine picking up a scrap of paper off the floor or reading a sign at a gas station or looking at graffiti on the subway and finding poetry in these words. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poems take existing text, reorder and refashion it, and present it as a poem. Youthful, urban, and ironic, this energetic and surprising poetic form demonstrates the beauty of everyday words and will inspire young poets to find their own poetry.

 

Find your own poems with Georgia Heard's The Arrow Finds Its Mark as your guide.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The poems in this slender volume were mined from print and digital media, signage, personal correspondence, and other sources. Not every entry is a hit, but there are moments of brilliance, including Bob Raczka’s “How to Write a Poem on Your Computer,” derived from computer drop-down menus (“Find Table/ Work/ Select All/ Delete”), and Terry Webb Harshman’s “Lake Haiku,” found in a photo caption (“Hawk perched on a tree/ at the Randleman Lake edge.../ framed by a harvest moon”). The results, taken from Facebook updates and e-mails, crossword puzzle clues and dictionary entries, will have readers seeing inspiration all around them and questioning what turns words into poetry. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"...will have readers seeing inspiration all around them..."-Publishers Weekly

 

“Aimed at young readers, with an eye to helping them learn to write their own found poems, the collection will be a handy guide to an accessible form.” -Kirkus

 

“…this intriguing little book offers an appealingly down-to-earth entryway into poetry.”—Booklist

Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
Poetry can be found everywhere, even in the most unexpected places. In her introduction, poet and teacher Heard makes the case that sometimes poems already exist out there and are just waiting to be discovered, in Facebook updates, signs in a hardware store, or dictionary entries. The poets who were asked to contribute, including well-known poets such as Jane Yolen and Naomi Shihab Nye, were given the challenge of finding text that already existed in another form and presenting it as a poem. The titles they provide help to give meaning: "Pep Talk," for instance, uses phrases like "See a brighter solution" and "Maintain freshness" to create poetry from words found on a box of OxiClean detergent. "Places I'd Love to Van Gogh Someday" employs the evocative titles of Van Gogh's paintings, such "Beach with Figures and Sea with a Ship" and "Road with Cypress and Star." This short collection brings together a number of such found poems, along with the name of the poet who found them and the source. The poems range from funny to meditative, and could serve to inspire students to find their own poems. The black-and-white illustrations are prosaic and don't add much to this otherwise appealing volume. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—The intent of this collection is to awaken readers to the poetry that "exists all around us." A host of children's poets accepted the challenge to find inspiration anywhere-a Facebook page, a hardware store, the Burpee catalog—and reassemble the words without much embellishment in pursuit of poetry. Minimally illustrated with plain black-and-white drawings, the poems rely largely on the poet's inventiveness. There is no table of contents or index of poets; however a heading for each selection gives the author and the original source. Juanita Havill, Lee Bennett Hopkins, J. Patrick Lewis, George Ella Lyon, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Sidman, Jane Yolen, and Bob Raczka are among the contributors. Laura Purdie Salas creates an amusing context for words found on a road sign in Northern England, "red squirrels/drive slowly" by adding the title: "They Don't Want Speeding Tickets, So…." A sign on a hardware store is made rhythmically interesting. This unassuming book may help young writers notice words and see how poems can be made. Pair it with other books that spark an imaginative flame, such as Paul B. Janeczko's A Kick in the Head (Candlewick, 2005).—Tess Pfeifer, Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Found poems can be found right here in a small anthology of original poems. Found poems are exactly what their name implies: poems created out of words and phrases found in all sorts of places--on Facebook, in a thesaurus, in newspaper advertisements in magazines, on detergent boxes and signs in a hardware store. But, as the introduction cautions, "If you put a frame around any text and insert line breaks and stanzas--it won't necessarily be a poem." It takes vision to see the potential of poetry all around us, and then it takes magic to elevate and deepen the language. The first lines of Heard's opening poem, "Find a Poem," define the finding poet's process: "come across / chance upon / stumble on / discover / turn up / bring to light." Aimed at young readers, with an eye to helping them learn to write their own found poems, the collection will be a handy guide to an accessible form. Not so easy will be getting students to understand what makes these poetry, and a bit of elaboration in the introduction would have helped make the case. But certainly in the spirit of helping young people play with language, this will be a welcome addition to every teacher's writing toolbox. Students may not be convinced these are real poems, but they'll enjoy creating them anyway, whatever they are. (Poetry. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596436657
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 354,583
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Georgia Heard is a writer, speaker, and educational consultant who teaches and speaks to audiences in the United States and around the world about writing and using poetry with children. She lives in Singer Island, Florida.

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