Drunk.

By: Emma Igoe

For my found poem, I chose to focus on drunk driving. I chose this topic because drunk driving endangers the lives of many innocent people, all due to only one person’s foolish decision. Drunk driving is a topic that personally angers me because in most cases, everyone involved in the accident is either injured or killed, except the one person who has made the incident occur.

This poem was made from snippets of an article I have seen a few months ago which angered me, written by Jeffrey Braxton. Within this article, he talks about drunk drivers driving on the wrong side of the road and the effect this has on innocent people and families. As I read this article, I cut out the words that have impacted me the most and what I thought would convey the message clearly. Within my poem, I wanted to use repetition for the phrase “You’re Going the Wrong Way” to reiterate how intoxicated someone can be to not realize they are driving on the wrong side of the road. Operating a vehicle under this condition is extremely dangerous and can be easily avoided, especially with the technology we have today. I believe many people are aware of the effects of drunk driving and know to make the smart decision to not participate in doing so, but not enough people considering many fatal accidents still occur to this day.

Real Love

REAL you

because LOVE

As it is in you

I want

I need

I need you

I need you

THAT’S love.

All the good and bad

its without a cause

I love you.

The question of what Love is has been a common theme throughout many years, and it can be very difficult to answer what Love actually is. There have been instances where Love is just a word thrown around in order to make others feel wanted. Some individuals do not know whether Love is a feeling or a lifestyle of devotion. At the end of the day, Love is whatever an individual says it is. It all depends on what it means to them. It can be an attachment or a relationship that has taken years to develop. It can be between family, friendships or intimate relationships with others.

I found this important because in our modern day age the idea of Love has been passed around and has even been apart of the Judicial system. The LGBTQ community has been an advocate for Love throughout the years and that it is okay to Love who you want to love because of who the person is on the inside. This poem entails this concept in that there is only a YOU and not a he or she. It’s about the person without a description or a label.

Women are paid less.

My found poem was from an article that was titled, “An Economist explains why Women are paid less.” This article was about the wage gaps between genders. I wanted to write something that I could relate to as a female and is also important in today’s issues. After reading the article, I went through and decided to cut out words and statements that stood out to me. I cut the “women are paid less” from the title because the main focus of my poem is the gender inequalities. I repeated it at the end because I wanted to emphasize to the reader the severity of this matter. While working on this poem, I was thinking about why women are still not being paid equally to men. The graph that I took out of the article shows that a global average, women earn almost half that men do annually. I saw that this article was written on March 8, 2019, and wanted to incorporate it in my poem. This demonstrates that this is an ongoing issue that still isn’t solved. 

I really enjoyed reading this informative article and changing it into a poem. I thought it was creative and nice to do something different than writing a paper. I liked how I could take a written article and manipulate it into my own work. Creating a found poem made me look at language differently. It made me realize how powerful words are and that each and every single word no matter how long or short means something. After making my own poem, I can better understand Zong! and how Philip purposely placed those words in a specific order to express the importance of each poem. By. Deirdre Lynch

Broken by Emma Fryer

For my found poem, I chose to focus on the issue of sexual harassment. The poem is based off of the song “Break a Bitch Neck” by Akinyele featuring Kool G Rap. Immediately after reading the graphic lyrics to this song, I knew I needed to talk about it. Derogatory language is unfortunately common in a lot of hip hop and rap music today, and it promotes the taking advantage of women and using them for their bodies. As a woman myself, I found it extremely offensive and repulsive. That is why I used the artist’s words against him to speak from the perspective of the victims of such cruelty.

I started by using words such as “dancin’ girls” and “living dead” to symbolize the way in which sexual harassment destroys spirits and takes lives away from innocent people. I ended the poem with a hint of revolution, concluding with the line “you’re a woman” in order to make is clear that being a woman is a strength… not a weakness. I added rips and cracks filled with flowers along the edges of the paper to correlate with the title, symbolizing the power of women to grow from their experiences and persevere.

After creating my own found poem, I can’t even imagine filling an entire book! I really admire the way in which this form of art can take one thing and make it a completely new one through a new perspective. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that change can only be made if we change our perspective first.

SoClose.

don’t.

no use. 

you know how girls get.

Inside her,                                    

     HurT

          E

          M

          P

   FrusTration

          A

          T

           I

     jealOus

          N

                  

Bad Accusations f  l y

She’s hurt.

He is strong.

She’s half of him.

It’s no use.

NoRoom.SoClose.

SoClose. By Sara Weber

In my writing of SoClose. I wanted to draw the reader’s attention to gender inequalities that are so prevalent throughout the United States and the world. My piece was comprised of words found in the song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” sung by “The Police”. I found this song to make me uncomfortable. It speaks about the temptation that a male teacher has for a female student. As a female student, I have been objectified in the classroom before and have been made uncomfortable by a male teacher. Students should not enter school, a place of learning, and feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.

As a future teacher, one of my main goals will be to make my students feel comfortable. This song makes me realize how important that goal is. A line that struck me in this song is “You know how bad girls get”. While I don’t know the intent that the writer of this song had, I can make the assumption that it wasn’t a good one. This line is a hasty generalization used against women, and it makes me very upset. My goal for this found poem is that the reader understands that women are just as important as men, and should not be made to feel otherwise.

Segregation and Racial Disenfranchisement

I decided to do my poem on the Plessy V. Ferguson case. I chose this because this court case showed how bad racism was in the past and how it was unfair to anybody who had even the smallest amount of African blood in them. Plessy V. Ferguson was a case in which Homer Adolph Plessy, a mixed race male, who was arrested and jailed for taking an empty seat in a whites only facility on a railroad car after refusing to move. Plessy refused to move to the other railroad section where non-whites would be forced to sit. These sections were separated from the white only section. However, this section was in a much more poor condition than the white only section. This represented many of the different segregated facilities such as water fountains, bathrooms, schools, and any other social places.

My poem focuses on how Plessy was rejected his rights and how it affected the people of the black communities. It begins with the horrors of the dawn of the Jim Crow Era, then the racial segregation between whites and blacks causing such a disturbing image that these segregated facilities were unequal in many ways such as the conditions of these facilities showing that separate was not equal. I later describe Homer Plessy as a mixed raced man who was seven-eighths white and one-eighths black. Though he was mostly white his skin color had caused his arrest. I wonder if he had a lighter skin color would he had been arrested for refusing to move?

This Court case makes me sick because of how unfair “seperate but equal” really was. The fact that the court had rejected his argument and denied that his rights were violated is disturbing. Another reason why this makes me upset is because it did not help others in the black communities, it made segregation worse and caused more troubles for the black community.

Sensitive Cry Baby

     For my found poem assignment, I chose to use a hateful post on Facebook that is against transgender people. It poorly discusses the event of a tampon company offering non-gendered packaging. The author of the post uses “sensitive cry baby” in nearly every sentence and I found it comical because they are implying that transgender people are being sensitive cry babies over something as simple as a product, and yet the author of the post is actually the one making a huge deal out of it. I decided to use their own words against them. 

     The beginning of the poem is in red to signal the author’s nasty dialogue and in the end I switch to black where I cut them off and throw their own words in their face, proving that they are, in fact, the sensitive cry baby flipping out over a simple product. I felt extremely angry creating this because I don’t understand why people have to be so hateful (hence ripping the paper instead of cutting it). If you don’t agree with something, fine, but don’t actively seek out a way to attack innocent people. Also, “feminine”  was capitalized in my poem to show that tampons are advertised as “female”. It has been this way throughout history, but history is changing and if a tampon company wants to show support for the lgbtq+ community, then that is something to be celebrated. No one is being forced to buy them. By all means, go spend your money on the frilly pink box that advertises periods as an incredible and happy experience! This activity made me see how powerful words can be. They do so much more than teach. They are able to create empathy and feelings of distress or fury. It’s fascinating to me and I thoroughly enjoyed creating this poem. It was a great outlet for my anger too. I felt a lot better after spending time ripping apart the words. 

Which Hunt

“Which Hunt” by Samantha Brigandi

My Found Poem titled “Which Hunt” was made from clippings of the transcript of Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement to the Supreme Court last year. The hearing between Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh was a very long, publicly broadcasted, political event that really was a pivotal moment for the Me Too movement. I personally sat in front of my laptop, livestreaming the whole afternoon and being blown away by the scrutiny that Dr. Blasey Ford faced. How well she had spoken, how thorough her answers, and how painfully honest she had been absolutely floored me. And when it came time for Judge Kavanaugh to give his statement, he was absolutely unhinged, shouting like a maniac and literally screaming about drinking beer. The worst came later of course, but what I could never really forgive was the media and many Republican politicians referring to the Me Too movement as a “witch hunt.”

Witch Hunts, specifically the American based hunts like the Salem witch trials, historically were attacks on women. Globally, witchcraft has often been used to demonize and punish female sexuality. The overwhelming majority of witch hunt victims were women and girls. Additionally, most of the cases of men killed during the witch hunts were gay men. I feel this is very important to remember because, nothing makes me angrier than the absolutely insulting irony of straight white men trying to compare themselves to victims of witch hunts. So, I decided to find all the times that Judge Kavanaugh said “which” and the accompanying phrases in his opening statement. I think the results speak for themselves. Ultimately, I did want to end with the message to remind everyone that true progress for the Me Too movement will not come from the trials of women and witches. It will come from judging men to be better and to not make excuses for any man, even our fathers, our friends, husbands, or our brothers. Especially if those brothers are frat boys from Yale.

How Can a Pro-life World be Good for Women.

I chose to talk about the very controversial topic of the ban on abortion. The article I read talked all about how a pro-life world is good for women. This got me pretty angry considering society is once again trying to tell others what is good for them. How can something that takes away rights to my own body be good for me? I should be the one deciding what I want to do with my body but instead men are. The way I formatted my poem was to make the last word stand out so I made each line shorter than the last basically leading your eye right down to the final word, “pro-woman.” 

This project was a lot harder than I thought it would be because I had an idea of what I wanted to say but I had a limit on the things I could actually say since I had to use someone else’s words. It was also challenging since we had to make it about the complete opposite claim the article stated. It was still a lot of fun to make and I really enjoyed comparing the article to the poem because they are so different. Creating this one page took me a good amount of time so I can’t imagine how long it took to create something like Zong! 

3 Months

By Marissa Dauber

I chose to focus on the Brock Turner case for my found poem. If you don’t know of this case, a college student sexually assaulted an unconscious drunk woman behind a dumpster. This case makes me extremely angry and emotional, because he was only in jail for 3 months. I chose to use a news article where the victim’s statement was used. I whited out a lot of the words, leaving the most shocking and devastating details of that night. The words are scattered randomly, in no particular order, in a way that doesn’t make much sense. This is because the night was confusing to the victim, and I wanted my reader to feel as confused and disoriented as she did. My goal was to shock my reader; it is supposed to be difficult to read, because of how terrible of a night it was. Her words are also, unfortunately, a reality for many sexual assault survivors. I cut out every time the article said Brock Turner’s name and glued it to the very top of the paper. These words are bigger than hers, as symbolism that he overpowered her, both that night and in his ridiculous jail sentence. However, I also wanted his name to be big and bold and at the top of the page, so the reader knows the name of the horrible man who committed the crime they’re about to read about. I think it’s very important we remember his name. I put “3 months” at the very end of the paper, for the reader to read after they just learned every gruesome detail of that night. This is also for shock, and to stress how crazy his sentence was. Lastly, in the middle of the page, I included a quote from the victim. I wanted to include this and make the font large, because this quote resembles her strength and power throughout this whole situation.

This assignment definitely made me think differently about how powerful language can be. I like the act of making a found poem, because it can be very therapeutic. You can re-make something into whatever you want, and make it have the effect on the reader that you want. This got me thinking about how Philip must have felt while writing Zong!. It probably made her feel angry and passionate, but also at peace that she was able to re-tell a story how she wanted to. It also made me realize that words don’t need to be organized in a “traditional” way to be powerful and have an effect on the reader.