I found this excellent resources for describing found poetry at www.waunakee.k12.wi.us/faculty/lcarthers. Here’s what was shared:
Found Poem Instructions
Find a couple random paragraph from a newspaper, magazine, book, etc. The selection should contain 100-200 words. You can also try recipe instructions, legal notices, and horoscopes.
Read through your selection. Highlight or underline words, lines, etc that seem promising to you. Use what you selected to write a poem.
You may add your own words, but no more than 50% of final poem may include new words.
Your poem may be of any length, but it must focus on a single idea and be meaningful to you.
- Your poem does not need to be about the original topic.
- Each line does not need to be a complete sentence; experiment with ending lines in mid sentence and continuing on next line.
- Pay attention to how the poem looks on the page, the length of lines, how line are grouped, etc.
- Have a single idea in mind to help your poem come together. Try repeating lines or single words throughout poem.
- It is possible to create a poem without adding new words.
Here’s one I created using random sentences from Colony, by Anne Rivers Siddons:
One day they would sit on the porches and be driven about the countryside . (p.42)
We had a pleasant night cap before the fire, and I watched Sarah in its light. (p.430)
And he was gone out of the kitchen, leaving the screen door banging softly on the spring that never quite worked. (p. 270)
Changed into found poetry:
We’d had a pleasant nightcap before the fire.
I watched Sarah in its light.
He’d gone out of the kitchen,
Leaving the screen door banging softly
On the spring that never quite worked.
I’d thought they’d sit on the porches,
Be driven about the countryside.
Now, I doubted my vision.