Cut-up or collage, the challenge this month is to concoct something new from other people’s wordsOne night sometime in the early 1930s a New Jersey doctor left a note for his wife on the door of their fridge. He looked at it again and saw something he hadn’t noticed when first writing it down, something that made him write it out anew. The doctor was William Carlos Williams and the note became This is just to say, one of the best-known and most widely discussed “found poems” ever written. There was nothing particularly new about poems that used existing texts as their starting point, but Williams managed to create an example that was both ordinary and controversial at the same time, and it still stands as something of a breakthrough moment in American literature.This is just to say is an oddity of the genre, not just for its fame but also because the original source was a text by the poet himself. Usually, poets find their poems in prose written by others. In the case of Howard Nemerov’s aptly titled Found Poem, the source was a newspaper and I can’t help but imagine that the original was somewhat less entertaining …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books