Found poetry: we rise

I like to write poetry but I do not consider myself to be a poet, as I definitely feel more confident and comfortable when I wrote prose. But, when I get the urge to write poems, I can refer to a book that is sitting in my personal library. That book is a dictionary of poetic forms. Every now and then, I like to take that book out and try a different poetic form. Well just recently, Yvona, a writer friend of mine, introduced me to an interesting type of poetry, called “found poetry.” I was completely unfamiliar with the concept. According to Wikipedia, found poetry involves taking phrases or words or even whole passages from another source and reframing them, thus changing them in some way or another. The phrases, words, or passages mean different things to different writers, and found poetry is a way to show that.

Recently, my sister Diane shared a poem that she had written two years ago, titled “A dream job realized.” Diane’s tone is optimistic, as she describes realizing the hopes of that dream job, as she rises to the sky. She is reaching for good things, that dream job that we all hope for.  Despite the risks of failure, her optimism remains intact as a dream becomes a reality. This is Diane’s poem:

A dream job

We rise

We rise

Up to the sky

With ne’er a

We rise

We rise

We take big

Even if we

We rise

We rise

We follow our

Until we
finally succeed

We rise

We rise

A dream made

Now it’s our career

Yvona saw the poem on Facebook and she took from Diane’s poem the two words, “we rise.” She asked the question, “What if you don’t finally succeed?” It is true that success is never guaranteed. I suggested that, maybe, the thing to do would be to reinvent yourself after failure. If FAIL means “first attempt in learning,” maybe the lesson is that success is found elsewhere.  She continued the concept of rising but also introduced the idea that we fall. That rising isn’t always up up up. When you take the risk of rising, you are likely to fall back to where you came from. So the found poetry aspect is in the two words, “we rise.” She focuses on the dream, but now, the dream is unspecified. This is Yvona’s poem.

We rise.

We fall.

We rise

We dream,

we hope,

we pray…

for a better

We rise,

We listen…

We watch…

We travel
down roads

Where life
takes us.

We rise,

Follow the

wherever it
takes us.

I had never heard of found poetry. It was an entirely new concept to me. Well, why not, I thought. And I wrote a poem, incorporating the words “we rise.” In my poem, following the dream has disappeared. It’s replaced by doubts, questions about one’s identity, and by the struggle to rise after falling. 

We rise.

We fall.

We hesitate…

We doubt

we look

We stop,

not knowing
who we are.

We sink down

and we don’t

We pray

we hope

we shake the

and rise

We rise,

We imagine…

We find our

We seek out
another path

A strange,
unknowable path.

We rise,

in a
different place

and we make
it our own.

Two words depicting different things, depending on who wrote the poem. The found poetry experiment showed how differently we interpret a two word phrase. In this experiment, the words were “we rise.”

Feel free to write your own ‘we rise” poem and, if you like, post the poem in the comment section here. I would love to see your interpretation of those words.

2 thoughts on “Found poetry: we rise”

  1. Alice, both the poem and the adaptations were brilliant and wonderful!! You're all so talented! I'm so glad I got to read them.

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