Found Poem: Fix This One Thing
January 26, 2023
You took AP stats?
Uno, dos, tres
The energy I got back
She’s just making
all these mistakes
Maybe it’s around the—
My best teacher
was Kiran Desai
I didn’t get lost
This is a found poem. All the lines and the title are things I overheard in New York.
—Susan Thomsen, 2023
Jan at Bookseed Studio is the Poetry Friday host for January 27th. Go visit for more poems and inspiration on Friday.
Photo by ST of one of Timothy Snell's "Broadway Diary" mosaics (2002) at the 8th Street/NYU subway stop, Manhattan. It depicts the arch at Washington Square Park.
Love this! What a great way to write a poem.
Posted by: Amy Grasso | January 26, 2023 at 10:04 AM
My found poems are a little different are just a little different yours. Mine are more like found money, a poem I wrote and forgot all about and later don't even remember writing it.
Posted by: Dave Roller | January 26, 2023 at 11:51 AM
Amy, thanks! The process is just a great excuse for taking long city walks.
Dave, those sound good, too. I've found a few on this blog that I'd forgotten that I'd written.
Posted by: Susan T. | January 26, 2023 at 01:51 PM
It's always so interesting picking up bits and pieces of conversation. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Rose Cappelli | January 26, 2023 at 07:43 PM
Fascinating--each line could lead to its own story. I will have to listen more closely to see what poems I might find.
Posted by: Kay Jernigan McGriff | January 26, 2023 at 08:06 PM
Rose, yes, Harriet the Spy is my mentor! :)
Kay, exactly! The lines where I think, “ooh, I wan to hear the rest of this,” always catch my attention.
Posted by: Susan | January 27, 2023 at 07:07 AM
How I love all those subway mosaics. The perfect image to go with a found poem -- piecing together little bits to make something whole and wonderful. Thanks for doing such poetic eavesdropping....
Posted by: Liz Garton Scanlon | January 27, 2023 at 08:09 AM
I love your found poems!
Posted by: Mary Lee | January 27, 2023 at 02:52 PM
Liz and Mary Lee, thank you! I have such a good time putting these poems together.
As for the mosaics, I love them! I admire the mosaic studios who translate the artists' work into their subway iteration; it really does take a village.
Posted by: Susan | January 27, 2023 at 03:16 PM
Susan, I love the way you have constructed your found poem using snatches of conversation. As a writer who regularly records overheard conversations when activelt listening in public places, you have provided a spark for some new poetic adventures. Well done you!
Ralph Fletcher once wrote, we write with our ears. This is the epitomy of this truism.
Posted by: Alan j Wright | January 27, 2023 at 09:19 PM
So many interesting tidbits in there and energy, like the energy in the tiled mosaic subway stop, thanks Susan!
Posted by: Michelle Kogan | January 28, 2023 at 01:39 AM
Alan, thank you for your kind words here. A copy editor friend of mine said much the same thing about how we write with our ears.
Michelle, you are welcome! NYC's energy is contagious. I had not realized how much I'd missed it during Covid until I went back.
Posted by: Susan | January 28, 2023 at 06:21 PM
So cool. I love that you pieced together things you heard.
Posted by: Marcie Flinchum Atkins | January 28, 2023 at 08:09 PM
Thanks, Marcie! Sometimes I think of it as quilting with words.
Posted by: Susan | January 29, 2023 at 09:43 AM
How delicious to be listening in on all these lives unfolding as one in your poem!
Posted by: PATRICIA J FRANZ | January 29, 2023 at 12:34 PM
Susan, I love the energy of these super short snippets!
Posted by: Laura Purdie Salas | January 29, 2023 at 07:52 PM
How fun! What astute listening. I love how the lines of dialog that don't "go" together actually work well as a whole poem.
Posted by: Linda Mitchell | January 30, 2023 at 06:13 AM
Patricia, Laura, and Linda. Thank you! I do enjoy seeing what new stories or pictures come out of piecing together the verses.
Posted by: Susan | January 30, 2023 at 08:57 AM