Found in Song

I desperately wanted to do another Halloween theme here on Yay Words!, especially since the ball really got rolling with Tea with Trolls last year; however, it just wasn’t in the cards. (That being said, please think bout sending Margaret Dornaus poems for Día de los Muertos on her blog by October 26th!) As we round out 2012 and I try to think of something appropriate for New Years, I’ll have to shoot for Christmas instead.

About a month or so ago, while exchanging emails with a few other poets (namely Lucas Stensland), we started a series of exchanges of found poems using song titles. Within several rounds, I became undoubtedly addicted and entertained by the way these poems have been turning out (especially in the light of the dry spell with my own words as of late). So after kicking around possibilities and guidelines, I’d like to extend this challenge out to the rest of you.


1. You may only use song titles and/or band/artist names.

2. You may not add/subtract words, but you may add/subtract punctuation.

3. You may break a title up into several lines, but you may not merge two titles/names into one line. Unless it’s a one-liner. For example, this is acceptable:

summer fades . . .
before the light
takes us

(“Summer Fades” by Smoke Fairies; “Before the Light Takes Us” by Darkness Falls)

This is not:

[line 1]
I will wait 30 seconds
to Mars

(“I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons; 30 Seconds to Mars [band])

4. You must list all your sources, preferably in the order that they appear. For example:

dante’s prayer
lost in the echo
wild mountain thyme

“Dante’s Prayer” – Loreena McKennitt
“Lost in the Echo” – Linkin Park
“Wild Mountain Thyme” by Sarah Calderwood

I will take small, song-found poems until Thursday, December 20th. For this particular project, I will take up to 10, and ninety-nine percent of the time I’ll take at least one. I reserve the right to ask you to try again if nothing really catches my eye, but don’t take it as a brushoff; that really does mean try again!

Theme/What to write about: Found poems using song titles and/or band/artist names.

What form: Haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, gogyōka, renku, haibun, haiga (doodles most welcome!), small stones, short poems (up to 10 lines), prose poems (300 words or less), etc. Art is also encouaged!

How many: As many as you want! I will take as many as 10 and no less than 1.

When: Send them in by Thursday, December 20th (I will wait until the whole world has reached the 20th); I will post a PDF on this blog as close to Christmas as I can manage. With any luck, on Christmas day!

Where to send: Either leave a comment to this post or send an email to aubriecox [at] gmail [dot] com. If you email, put “SING” in the subject line, if you please. If you leave a comment, please know that it may take me longer to get back to you, because I’ll sometimes wait until around the deadline to address comment submissions.

Other important stuff:

Things you should keep in mind/include (the usual, but some more relevant than others for this particular challenge):

• Most journals will consider these works published

• If your work is already published, include the publishing credits (it’s kind of important and a nice thing to do)

• You, as the writer/artist/poet/etc, retain the rights to you work before and after it appears on my blog/in the PDF.

• If you want me to link back, please send along the name and link of your blog/Twitter account/website/etc! Also, make sure your have your name listed as you would like for it to appear.

Found in Song

6 thoughts on “Found in Song

  1. I guess I’m the first and probably got it wrong…

    a hard rain’s a-gonna fall – Bob Dylan

    all the tired horses – Bob Dylan

    blowin’ in the wind – Bob Dylan


    turn! turn! turn – Pete Seeger

    waist deep in the big muddy – Pete Seeger


    buzzard song – Ira Gershwin

    it take a long pull to get – Ira Gershwin

    morning – Ira Gershwin

    1. You’re on the right track! I’d be a lot easier though if you’d list the artist after the poem though, so that way can actually read the poem. Like this:

      a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
      all the tired horses
      blowin’ in the wind

      Then just note something like “(All titles by Bob Dylan).”

      1. a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
        all the tired horses
        blowin’ in the wind

        All titles by Bob Dylan

        turn turn turn
        waist deep in the big muddy

        Both titles by Pete Seeger

        buzzard song
        it take a long pull to get

        All titles by Ira Gershwin

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