Poetry Prompt: A Formal Feeling Comes


This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth Ayer. Photo by Oksana (flickr).  

Found poetry is often associated with experimental poetry, erasure, and free verse. But (as we saw during our Oulipost project in April 2014) it can also be created using traditional forms as poetic constraints. This week, choose one of the many forms of poetry (other than free verse!) and write a poem in that form using a found text. If you do not have a source text in mind, refer to the suggested source texts below (from textfiles.com—a compilation of texts from the 80s suggested this week by Marty).

Resources for poetry forms:

Recommended source texts, chosen for their weirdness:

*BONUS*: You might even consider writing a doge (erel). The form “dogerel” is, unlike the doggerel, as yet unrecognized as a poetic form.




  • […] for Found Poetry Review: Form Double Cinquain, sourced from From: Shelley, Mary “Frankenstein.” Bookbyte Digital, […]

  • October 21, 2014


  • […] Found Poetry Review asks us to choose one of the many forms of poetry (other than free verse!) and write a poem in that […]

  • October 26, 2014


    I’m working up some acrostics a la Bernstein’s “Acrostic Chance” style and was wondering a couple of things. If you pick a title (as I have) and when doing the acrostic, there is no word beginning with that letter in the poem on that page or in the entire poem, do you keep going in subsequent pages until you find a line beginning with that letter so you have line beginning with the correct letter? Also, if the title you’ve chosen has letters that repeat – mine has two that repeat 3 times and another 2 that repeat twice – do you use a different line each time, or do you use the same line beginning with that letter each time? I really like what I’m coming up with and would like to submit it, but not if it’s so far off that it will fail automatically.

    I also have a cento that’s ready. Are you looking at those right now? Thanks for your help.


  • October 30, 2014

    Beth Ayer

    Hi S.E. Sorry for the delayed response. The adaptations you’ve mentioned as options for moving the poem along sound like good solutions for the situation.This may be a frustrating answer, but I would say you are probably on the right track and to use your own discretion! Also, for poems you submit, there is no requirement that the poem adhere strictly to a prompt or constraint (other than that submitted poems must be considered found poems and must significantly transform the source material). Your process, or how you adapt our prompts, should aid your poem.