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.
Guest post by James W. Moore
I recently started a new job as a Literacy Interventionist at a middle school, working to enrich the writing skills of students. In preparation for my new role, I shadowed a reading specialist who, among other things, has students read from a list of phrases for three minutes. They’ve done this daily, using it as a barometer for how the reading skills are improving. I thought that sounded interesting, but was wholly unprepared for how interesting it was to listen to. Listening to these students read was hypnotic—each phrase sounded like a sample from an unfinished article/story/poem. It was as though each piece of writing was floating by me, fast enough that I could only grab a phrase.
I asked to see the list afterwards and was introduced to Dr. Edward Fry’s Instant Phrase List (which is meant to contain 67% of the words students will encounter in their reading). Reading it front to back is (in and of itself) poetic, but I couldn’t wait to get it in the hands of found poets so you can work your magic. So get to it!
Take pieces or phrases or words from Dr. Fry (as hosted by Timothy Rasinski, Ph.D.) and make a poem. Or two. Or twelve.
james w. moore is a writer of poetry, plays, and short stories. his poetry has appeared in the Found Poetry Review, Silver Birch Press, and the Houston Chronicle. His debut collection of poems is called I Am the Maker of all sweetened possum.