Cinquain: Gone Fishin'
Cinquain: The Mural

Found Poem: Fix This One Thing


Fix This One Thing

You took AP stats?
Uno, dos, tres
The energy I got back
was nasty
She’s just making 
all these mistakes
Cuidado, cuidado,
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.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Love this! What a great way to write a poem.

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.

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.

It's always so interesting picking up bits and pieces of conversation. Thanks for sharing.

Fascinating--each line could lead to its own story. I will have to listen more closely to see what poems I might find.

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.

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....

I love your found poems!

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.

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.

So many interesting tidbits in there and energy, like the energy in the tiled mosaic subway stop, thanks Susan!

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.

So cool. I love that you pieced together things you heard.

Thanks, Marcie! Sometimes I think of it as quilting with words.

How delicious to be listening in on all these lives unfolding as one in your poem!

Susan, I love the energy of these super short snippets!

How fun! What astute listening. I love how the lines of dialog that don't "go" together actually work well as a whole poem.

Patricia, Laura, and Linda. Thank you! I do enjoy seeing what new stories or pictures come out of piecing together the verses.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)