Stolen Found Poetry

We’ve been committing poetry at the Patchwork Mind compound, this Friday morning. I wrote out the first two English verses of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock and the entirety of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, cut them into individual words and put them in a hat. A baseball cap, to be precise. Then I pulled out words at random, and wrote them down until a story began to emerge. Then I tweaked and shifted and swapped lines around, until the following emerged, ‘The Rage Song of J. Alfred’, or ‘That Gentle Question…’

I was inspired by my interest in collage; I’ve been trying to ask myself lately how I can apply techniques in one area of my creative activities to other areas. This mention of Tristan Tarza doing similar with newspapers was what gave me the idea.

The bits that are highlighted are ‘straight out of the hat’ – they’re phrases that I pulled out of the hat as-is, unaltered. The others I tweaked, changing a tense or adding a word here or there. I was genuinely surprised by how many of the lines I got I actually liked. I thought they would be far less coherent. There was still loads that I ended up not using, too.

To my mind it tells a distinctive story, but I’m interested if it comes out that way to other poeple.

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