Under Midnight Sun (found poetry)

Written for:  Poets and Storytellers United
Weekly Scribblings #43:  Found Poems and Erasures
(posted by Rosemary)

"Well I guess it’s fair to say that all erasures are found poems but not all found poems are erasures. (This may not be new information to you, but in case it is for some, please bear with me.)
 In fact, found poetry is not so much a form as a method. It can take any form, as you'll see. But though it may look like free verse (unless it doesn't) it is arrived at differently. There are two main methods.
 A found poem is a set of words you find somewhere, not originally intended as a poem, but in which you see or ‘find’ the poem that hides there. With the non-erasure kind, the words will be close together, the poem discoverable in the particular sequence."

"An erasure – a form made famous by Austin Kleon’s ‘blackout poems’ from newspapers – is when you actively erase printed words (blacking them out, whiting them out, or even using colour). The words you leave un-erased make the poem. It’s recommended that you look through a text, draw a box around words you want to keep and then use a marker to obliterate all the others.
 In this kind of found poem the words may be very far apart on the page before your mind sees connections. It’s more arbitrary than the other method, and you have much more authorial control, because this time it’s not just a matter of coming across words which already work beautifully together, but of selecting the words in such a way that you make them work. The possibilities in one page of text could be many and varied."


heavy red rain gear
as fisherman's boat rides
where sock-eye salmon
are plentiful, since
time was thin.  Midnight
sun–Summer in Alaska.  
Fishing boats anchored 
'neath flocks of gulls.
Hard work with dreams
of abundance without end.

(Found in an article in Nature Conservancy-Fall 2020)

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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12 Responses to Under Midnight Sun (found poetry)

  1. Helen Dehner says:

    I think the lines you chose are as intriguing as the sun you describe, I have experienced the Alaskan midnight sun, an unbelievable sight and ‘feeling.’

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  2. Lisa says:

    Nice. I’ve never seen a midnight sun, or the all day night either for that matter. I think those fishers should remember “abundance without end” is only a “dream!” I shouldn’t take it too literally, but I enjoy the fact they are fishing for the salmon, not farming it. Now, I’ve gone and turned it back into a nature article, haven’t I?

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  3. Your resulting poem is lovely!

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  4. Jim says:

    You’ve sold me, Sara, a beautiful scene. The lines, “Fishing boats anchored ‘neath flocks of gulls” scenes are sooo typical abound the fishing boats. I most familiar with those in Galveston and Kemah, Texas, but when on a boat, be it a fishing boat, ferry boat, or cruise ship it seems to know humans are near and expect some sort of treat from them. I saw some fishing boats in Alaska, in the ports our ship docked but I took them for granted, the gulls too.
    ..

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  5. Kestril Trueseeker says:

    The tone is just wonderful. There’s a really nice mood you’ve created with these found words.

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  6. I bet hard work accompanied by dreams of plenty feel just right.

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