Saturday, January 12, 2013

Poetry in Unexpected Places

Tons of fun packed into one little book?
How can that be?
You’ll see.

THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK: A Book of Found Poems, edited by Georgia Heard, illustrated by Antoine Guillope, Roaring Brook Press, 2012.

 A number of highly regarded poets were challenged to take text from a form other than poetry and turn it into a poem. Editor Heard gathered their creations into forty pages that will delight any age reader or maybe turn any reader into a poet or maybe turn everyone into a reader. Well, let’s just say this small volume could be transformative.

Janet Wong  found her contribution on a box of OxyClean. Lee Bennett Hopkins  developed his poem from selected words in a SPRINT newspaper ad. Robin Hood Black was in that wonderfully inspirational place many writers know well, her laundry room, when she found her poetic lines folded up in a LASERTAG results report. 

At some point in her household adventures, Robyn found time to interview Joyce Sidman who also participated in this challenge. Joyce found her poem in the 2010 Greenpeace calendar.
You’ll recognize the names of poets Jane Yolen, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and David L. HarrisonOthers may become your first writerly discovery of the new year.
Georgia Heard, who edited The Arrow Finds its Mark, is a writer and educational consultant.  She’s also a crusader, taking her message about writing  and using poetry with children around the world.

Sylvia Vardell is surely a sister crusader. Her blog, Poetry for Childrenis a poetry resource that keeps on giving.   

Now, where have you spotted a poem in hiding?  Cereal boxes on the breakfast table?  Vanity license plates in a traffic jam?

Possibilities are endless!


  1. I love your take on this collection, Joan! I'm so honored to be included with the likes of the rest of those poem-hunters.

    I took this book to a fourth grade classroom when it came out last year. The teacher told me many of those kids continued to "find" poetry all week - at home as well as at school! Such fun to introduce them to the idea, then turn them loose...!

  2. My first book review assignment from the COURIER-JOURNAL in Louisville, KY was titled, WHEN FOUND, MAKE A VERSE OF. 200 words due three days later. Payment was $7.50 plus the book.I still have the book. Spent the money long ago.

    So glad to see the idea accessible to children. Much more fun!


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