I chose the song “Break up with your Girlfriend” by Ariana Grande. I found this song about a year ago and found it very off putting to tell her audience basically that it is okay to cheat on their significant others. While writing this poem I thought about how young children are listening to this song and the messages that are being sent through this song. I used a method of blacking out the words that I did not want used in my found poem and keep the words I did want used visible. I did not change the word order around because I wanted people who really know and love her songs to be able to still recognize it.
My found poem is derived from the article where Brock Turner’s father considers the crime his son committed a mere 20 minutes of action. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar, Brock Turner was a student at Stanford University, after a night of drinking he had raped a girl who was unconscious and unable to fight for herself and tell him no. This article enraged me because they made the victim feel small as if she didn’t matter, as if the crime Brock Turner committed wasn’t a crime at all. We here more and more of rape charges and sexual assaults every week it seems. In fact, every month our school sends out the crime statistic there is almost always a sexual assault. That should enrage you too, because not only is happening all over the world, but it is happening at our school. To give you a better visual, 1 out of every 6 American women have been the victim of sexual assault, that could be your sister, your mother, your cousin, your best friend, or even just your classmate.
I created this poem because not only did it enrage me but I want everyone to be aware of how scary it really is. The way I organized my poem it truly highlights all the instances of how poorly the case was handled and just how small he made her feel. I ended my found poem with her saying what he took away from her and it ended with her saying until today, in which she meant he can’t take them away from her anymore. Channel Miller you are strong, you are beautiful, and you are so brave, and he will never be able to take that from you.
For my found poem, I took lyrics from the song “Blurred Lines”, by Robin Thicke and rearranged them to tell the story from the woman’s point of view. I chose this song because I remember there being a lot of backlash towards it when it first came out due to its derogatory and disturbing lyrics. The story in the song is told from a man’s perspective where he’s talking to a girl who he is trying to have sex with, but when you realize what he is saying it really makes you uncomfortable (at least that’s what happened when I read the lyrics).
I decided to pick apart the song and cut out lyrics that I could put into the point of view of a woman who is being sexually harassed or assaulted. In the first half, I told the story of the man approaching the woman and then assaulting her. However, half way through the page I shifted the arrangement of the words to be more empowering for the woman. She wants to tell her story so that she no longer has to live with the secret of what happened to her. Throughout the song the words “get up” are repeated. I also did this throughout my poem, but I utilized them as if the woman was encouraging herself to get out of the situation.
While creating this found poem I felt proud of myself because I was able to turn such a lyrically awful song into something that can help to empower women. I wanted to show that even though these things may happen, women are able to get through it.
By Pilar Paez
I wanted to base my found poem after the constantly growing overextension of the U.S. government. My found poem is based off of an article from The New York Times, titled “U.S. Government Plans to Collect DNA From Detained Immigrants,” where it describes actions taken by the government. The administrators of this act, namely Donald Trump, base these actions off of the thought that having the DNA of detained immigrants can help them link together other criminals. As if detaining real people wasn’t enough deterioration the U.S. government plans to use these humans as a tool for investigation and therefore, steal a piece of their humanity.
I picked out significant parts of the article that focused on the infringement of civil liberties in the United States. I wanted to place emphasis on the abuse of authoritative power taken by the government as they are essentially collecting DNA from endangered groups. The government claims they are enforcing the nation’s immigration laws and protecting native-born citizens. However, they are attempting to do this by diminishing the rights of other people, who do not even pose a danger to society. Furthermore, there is no research to support that crime rates are higher among immigrants than native-born citizens. It is groundless to claim that these people are a threat to American society. Ending my poem with the word ‘abuse’ sums up this act by the government, as they are misusing their power for something that does not deserve it.
My poem is about the fires raging in California, amplified by the Santa Ana winds. My thought process behind drawing the poem was that it would give me the opportunity to emphasize certain words and phrases, ensuring that the feeling I was trying to emulate translated clearly to the people reading my poem. My choice to include the time lapse of the drawing being created simulated the rapid creation and destruction done by the fires in California. It’s also an opportunity viewers are so rarely given to see what exactly what went into the creation of the poem.
When I found the article about the fires in California I felt very inspired by the almost poetic language used by the author to describe what was being done to help stop the fires. The overwhelming feeling I had as I first read the article was fear; fear for my family living in California, and fear for what the record-breaking fires mean for our planet. The second time reading the article I felt angry that this is only one of many man made events threatening the well-being of the planet and the people residing on it. These two emotions are what I kept in mind as I sifted through the article and crafted the poem. Enjoy!
By Lindsay Czechowski
I created my found poem with the lyrics of my least favorite song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. I have always hated this song, however only because I thought it was overplayed not realizing what the message was. After listening to “Blurred Lines”, I realized this song was offensive towards women. I then watched the music video and it made me sick seeing how the women in the video were treated like animals and the men in the video were just carelessly taking advantage of them. From that point on I had a new hatred for this song for its dehumanization of women.
Starting this explanation with the paper I taped the lyrics on. I purposefully chose to distort the lines on a normal loose leaf piece of paper. I used water to blur the lines so that the poem itself would pop on a kind of washed away, blurred background. This also speaks to the title of the song I used. The structure of the poem is like a letter, hence the title addressing Mr. Thicke, a co-writer and main singer of the song. I wanted to use the song lyrics themselves in an attempt to “clap back” or respond to Robin Thicke and his audacity to produce such an absurd song. I then blacked out some of the words in certain lines throughout the poem. I chose to black out words rather than white them out because I wanted the audience to know that I was changing the lines. I did not want to hide the alterations I made. At the end, I repeated the lyric “I hate these blurred lines” and it seems to fade. This effect hammers home the entire point of this “letter”. Ultimately, this poem straightens out the “blurred lines” to make them more clear.
I really enjoyed this project because it was fun to play around with other people’s language. To be able to change a perspective and goal of a work to have a completely different meaning made me feel powerful. This helped me feel better about this song because the project allows me to have a response to it. This project reinforces the topic of language and how it can impact people.
My found poem is from a poem on an online poetry site. It was done by the user ninamariaselenia and it is titled “Being Latina.” In this poem, she talks about what being a Latina means to her. I chose this because I am Latina as well and I am very proud of my culture. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of media attention on Hispanic people because of the immigration policies. There has been a lot of name-calling and racism towards this group of people, and it is something that has always made me feel incredibly frustrated. To label Hispanics as things such as “aliens” and “criminals” is downgrading and although I am aware that not everyone thinks like this, it makes me upset that there are people in this day in age that do. With this poem, the author is highlighting many of the good things about being a Hispanic woman. I decided to white out a lot of the lines and choose the words that I thought were the most defining. My goal is to make people think about Latin culture in a positive light rather than negative.
While I was creating this poem, I kept saying to myself how hard the assignment was and I was extremely fixed on making it make sense. However, I realized that Found Poems are not supposed to be properly structured with the correct grammar, it is about being creative while still conveying how you feel to others. While I was reading through this poem over and over, it made me feel empowered about my culture. I hope that other Hispanic people that read this feel the same way. This assignment also gave me a new appreciation for Zong! because writing a whole book this way must have taken a long time. It also made me appreciate the words and looking for a deeper meaning, rather than looking at the scattered words and skimming right through them.
By: Lily Latham
For my poem I chose to focus on the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. From first glance of the song, it is not clear why this song would be offensive or wrong but it becomes clear when looking into the lyrics with more thought. The listener realizes that the lyrics seem creepy with the man almost forcing the woman to stay as she wants to leave. This disturbed me because it seems like rape, even if the lyrics were not meant to be creepy when they were written.
The poem is designed to look like a snowflake. This is important to the poem because it came from the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. The three parts of the snowflake, the left, middle, and right, represent three aspects of personality. These are the id, ego, and superego. In psychology, the id is like the devil on someone’s shoulder and the superego is the angel. The ego is a good mix between the two with conflicting ideas on both sides. The left side represents the superego and the thought of why the woman should leave the man’s house. The right side of the snowflake represents the id, which is the man telling her all the things to make her stay. The center line of the snowflake represents her conflicting thoughts between the angel and the devil on her shoulders. She is conflicted on whether or not to stay because of her id and her superego, which is why she says maybe another drink and continues to stay.
For my found poem, I elected to rearrange the lyrics to the song, “Love Me,” by Steven Moses. Altogether, the song is about promoting the use of opioids, and also the false feeling of love that can be created while intoxicated. I chose to take a different approach to it, and show the dangers of these drugs.
In my poem, the story switches to a couple that takes Xanax at the same time. A little while after they take it, the female begins to feel like she is dying and soon overdoses, the same happens to her male counterpart. The purpose of this poem was to show the dangers of opioids, rather than promising them. As opioids are dangerous enough on their own, many are often laced with fentanyl, which often leads to an overdose that causes death.
For my found poem, I chose to take words from the Espionage Act of 1917. The original purpose of the Espionage act was to prohibit any negative speech towards the military operations of the United States. It was passed after the United States entered world war I, and was used as a way to keep criticism for U.S. war efforts at low. The act has always had a bad relationship with the ideas and values of free speech. Many people were convicted under its provisions, which raised questions regarding the fairness of being jailed for stating your opinion. Was this law really just a way to prevent information from being leaked to enemies, or was this a now legal way to silence the opinions of American citizens. A threatening way at that, as jail time would be punishment for breaking its code.
I decided that I would place the words in such a way that would portray the opposite side. I wanted my poem to carry the message of the importance of being able to say how you feel about the government. I had the words portray why hindering freedom of speech makes a nation cowardly, and why the citizens deserve to have that right. The words of the Espionage act discouraged citizen voices from speaking up, my poem condemns this and lifts up the ideas and values of having meaningful discussions, and highlights the power of being able to express your beliefs.