Found Poetry Prompt: “You have no idea how I am rushed”

Nervous? by Freddie Pena

For this week’s poetry prompt, we selected a chapter from Nerves and Common Sense by Annie Payson Call (freely available at Project Gutenberg). The text is an odd gem, and full of moments that had this reader nodding and shaking her head at the same time. This weekend, create a found poem using “You Have no Idea how I am Rushed” as source text.


“If this woman could open and let out her own interior tornado, which she has kept frozen in there by her false attitude of restful quiet, she would be more ill for a time, but it might open her eyes to the true state of things and enable her to rest to some purpose and to allow her household to rest, too.

It seems, at first thought, strange that in this country, when the right habit of rest is so greatly needed, that the strain of rest should have become in late years one of the greatest defects. On second thought, however, we see that it is a perfectly rational result. We have strained to work and strained to play and strained to live for so long that when the need for rest gets so imperative that we feel we must rest the habit of strain is so upon us that we strain to rest. And what does such “rest” amount to? What strength does it bring us? What enlightenment do we get from it?”

Nerves and Common Sense by Annie Payson Call


  • June 8, 2013


    A woman, pushed,

    is a storm, waiting,
    her mind worrying

    what she can imagine
    is not natural to feel.

    Simple thoughts float
    for a time but sink

    like the bodies we are
    finding are still. Below

    the surface so attractive
    is the real power, instinct

    wholesome and alive,
    finding its own best way

    through ripples of muscles
    crowding her interior.

    This woman is feeling
    the strain of her body,

    a tornado perfectly willing,
    absolutely ready, to let go.

  • June 8, 2013


    Not sure why spacing wasn’t preserved. I typed my poem as a series of couplets, with the first line set off and serving as the title.