I was listening to Andrew Motion talking to Andrew Marr on Radio 4 about ‘found’ poetry and it reminded me that I had written one such piece two years ago. It was taken from an article in the Daily Telegraph and was about the military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is a poem that I rarely share as I admit to a little confusion about the rules of found pieces. I could credit the Telegraph of course as that is where I sourced the information, but as it deals with other, real people and things they may have said or done, should they also be mentioned…and what if I get something wrong?
Andrew Motion seemed to imply that found words can be embellished, surrounded by the poet’s own words, changed and moved around. This notion, while exciting, seems to be inviting criticism or, worse, litigation at the furthest end of the scale. I think I will Google for guidance…unless anyone out there has any answers?
Motion then read one of the poems from his latest collection “Laurels and Donkeys” . It was a tribute to Harry Patch, the last of the WW1 servicemen to die, at the age of111.
It was beautiful. I must buy this book…and work much harder on my own offerings!