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Found Poetry

Updated on February 15, 2014

Magnetic Poetry and Art

A long time ago when I was still in school there was a new "invention."

Some brilliant soul came out with the idea of "Magnetic Poetry." It was words. Words on magnets. Magnets that you stuck to your fridge.

The purpose of the "Magnetic Poetry" was that when the muse struck, or just when you needed to go for another soda, you could rearrange these words into poems.

Random acts of poetry right there on your refrigerator door.

However, since neither Santa,nor my father, seemed inclined to buy me word magnets I began to cut apart my magazines and, in a way, make my own. Sure, they didn't stick to the fridge, but with a little glue they stuck wonderfully into my journals.

And thus my love of "Found Poetry" and "Poetry Collages" was born.


Magnetic poetry image used with permission from


All photos (excluding images on any module links) on this lens were taken by Winona Morris or Robert Morris (her husband) unless otherwise attributed. ©2013 to present

Magnetic Poetry

I never did get my box of magnetic poetry words when I was younger. I'm old enough to buy my own now, I suppose. However I'm pretty sure the baby would be in danger of eating them.

Somehow "Dirty Diaper Poetry" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Magnetic Poetry - Mixed-Up Movie Lines Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on the Fridge - Made in the USA
Magnetic Poetry - Mixed-Up Movie Lines Kit - Words for Refrigerator - Write Poems and Letters on the Fridge - Made in the USA

My husband might actually enjoy this one. I think it would make a great gift for videophiles.


Words on Paper

And a Picture Too

My first found poetry creations were not that exciting.

I kept journals. They had plain lined pages. I would cut out words and paste them onto the pages.

The poetry was there in its "found" form instead of hand written, but that in itself wasn't too special.

After a while I would start cutting pictures out of magazines too. A pretty picture on the page next to my found poem.. That was one step in a creative direction.

Still, they poetry and my "collages" had not meshed with each other quite yet.


I have written in paper journals for as long as I can remember. Everything from a small pocket sized notebook with lined pages, to HUGE sketchbooks without lines to adhere too.

A good thing about a journal is that it is a good place to think, AND it is a good place to play.

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Large, Plain, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (Classic Notebooks)
Moleskine Classic Notebook, Large, Plain, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (Classic Notebooks)

Moleskine notebooks are very popular with artists who sketch, draw, and create art in their journals.

Tree of Life Journal (Diary, Notebook)
Tree of Life Journal (Diary, Notebook)

Some people prefer to have beautiful books, already decorated, to record their lives in.


Getting Closer

Now, my collages started getting bigger.

When I started I would have one thing I liked on the page. A picture of a person. A picture of a pretty bed. A beautiful nature background.

After a while I started putting the pretty people and the pretty things INTO the pretty backgrounds.

Wow, that looks nice together. I would think to myself. Almost like real art.

I was even one more step closer to a found poetry collage, but I still had not put the words and the pictures in the same place together.

Then the Magic Happened!

Surely, the time would come when my creative brain would go "AHA!" and then go, "You dolt, why didn't you think of this before!"

That time took a lot longer than it should have to come to me.

I was working in a small-ish journal at the time. And I had found a big-ish picture I liked. The picture took up two whole pages of the book. But I wanted a found poem WITH that picture. I could have put it on the next page, but that didn't seem like the right thing to do.

So, after some thought I said to myself, "Maybe I can put the words ON the picture."

Then,of course, I spent some time trying to arrange the words on the picture so that it didn't make the whole picture actually disappear on it.

In the process I lost a few words. Words cut out of magazine pages have a tendency to blow away!

Don't Resist

How often do Frogs

transform into princes.

Adam was a tattletale.

every single day

since Eve got kicked out of Eden

women would be punished for their sins.

Some guy is always going to

blame you.

We have

the chance to be

in a fairy tale

to help Eve see

that the Tree of Knowledge would yield

a fairy godmother

a magic potion

confidence bravery

true self.

Slip out the door

out of our own lives

and try on new ones

adventure as its theme

beasts into beauty's dream.

Don't Resist

But wait, there's more!

The magic didn't stop there.

I had enjoyed making my collages in my journal so much that I moved up to bigger and better things.

By bigger and better I mean canvas instead of paper. Not that I really think that canvas is better because my journals will always be an amazing part of my life but...

I stared collaging and painting on canvas. Then I thought....

"I wonder if a found poetry collage would work on this thing I just painted?"

The answer, as you can see below, is a resounding YES.

Venus Felix

Venus Felix
Venus Felix

A Few more Found Poetry collages

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Important Collage Stuff - Things I learned I needed.

Since the found poetry is not magnetic you have to have something to make them stay where you want them.

And since its easier to put all your favorite words in one spot than have to flip through a magazine every time you want to create, it helps to have some pre-cut words stored. This is very true for the used a lot word like "and" and "the".

Below are my favorite glue and storage solutions!

Avery Permanent Glue Stic, Pack of 18 (98089)
Avery Permanent Glue Stic, Pack of 18 (98089)

You will use a lot of glue sticks if you start doing magnetic poetry and espically if you add the collage element. I have found that the Avery glue sticks are the BEST. I recommend muchly.

IRIS 4" x 6" Photo and Embellishement Craft Keeper, Clear
IRIS 4" x 6" Photo and Embellishement Craft Keeper, Clear

You will also start "collecting" words and pictures. I've found that the 4x6 cases work VERY well for keeping words and pictures handy. Except for the VERY big ones of course.


Have you ever attempted found poetry? Do you want to try now? What do you think about the ones I decided to share for this post?

What do you think?

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    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      Great ideas, I write a lot of poetry but sometimes find myself stuck for ideas, writers block I presume, Something like this should be a great way of getting started again. Thanks for an interesting lens

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 3 years ago from Yonkers, NY

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      I bought myself the set after I gave one to my step-father and I found the rack wonderful.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 3 years ago

      You're very creative and talented. I love your artwork. If I had poetry magnets I'd spend my life standing in front of the refrigerator!

    • noner profile image

      noner 4 years ago

      @Redneck Lady Luck: Thank you. I enjoy creating it and need to start making them again soon.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      It is amazing the art forms we can find to let out our creative selves. Your poetry is very unique and so is your art form.

    • noner profile image

      noner 4 years ago

      @Ruthi: Thank you.

      Venus Felix is one of my favorite pieces I've ever made.

    • noner profile image

      noner 4 years ago

      @goldenecho: Thanks for reading.

      I changed the Don't Resist poem into a larger image, and wrote the words below it as well, so you can read them all now.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Winona, your found poetry is wonderful art and shows you have quite a creative talent. I really enjoyed the painting and poetry collage of Venus Felix. Funny thing, I always wanted the magnetic poetry kit, too, and no, never got it.

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 4 years ago from Texas

      I love your collage poetry. It's really amazing how much you can do with "found" words. I just wish I could read all the words on your "Just Resist" poem. I can read most of them and love what I can read, but the picture is too small to read all of them.