Poetry Prompt: Uptown Funk


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

So, I was hanging out with some of my friends the other day and the video for Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars came on TV. My friends’ toddler turned toward the screen, transfixed, and uttered “hot damn.” The kid loves the song, and the dancing, and presumably has no awareness of the long list of funk influences and allusions embedded in the track.

This intro is just an excuse, really, to prompt you to imagine a cute toddler urging you to “dance / jump on it”— and to introduce a poetry prompt involving pastiche. At FPR, we usually prompt poets to write using found language but to generate poems that are distinct from the source text. It is even part of our submission guidelines. That said, found poetry and pastiche certainly overlap, even if less commonly in FPR volumes. Here is more on how to write a pastiche poem.

Prompt: Rather than straightforward pastiche, your prompt this week is to use one found text to imitate the style of another poet. For example, use the words  found in a technical manual to imitate the style of John Ashbery.

As always, we love to see your responses in the comments. Or,  you might consider submitting to an upcoming issue of Found Poetry Review.

1 Comment

  • March 28, 2015

    Lewis Oakwood

    Words taken and rearranged, from – Bass guitar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – to create a haiku.

    Harmonic Vibrations

    Flesh of the player’s
    Programmed body electric
    Smooth beat performers.

    ~ ~ ~