short reg

Found Poetry Exercise

Found Poetry is a form that takes existing text like advertisements, other poems, newspapers, and graffiti and reorganizes and incorporates it into a new poem. Found poetry can be made up of all pre-existing texts or mixed with original texts like a collage.
This found poem uses text found entirely from letters found on MBDA with a little reorganization of words and punctuation. This is an easy and fun activity to do with students of all ages and is a good introduction to poetry in general as well as to more technical aspects of poetry like line break and syntax decisions.     


From Martha Berry’s Desk
August – October, 1930: $32,448.63


I was at Carlsbad, not Nauheim.
I took the cure at Karlsbad –
I wished for you so often.
I was much better, but the work,
the worry over the situation has
made me quite ill again.

Drouth and terrible depression in business
make it hard to raise money for our actual needs.
The terrible drouth had destroyed the crops –
ruined crops – impoverishing the country. 

Berry is in great need but
I cannot do much –
so affected by the drouth.
I am turning to old friends:
get in touch with President Hoover,
Red Cross to help. 

I hope you are interested;
we are working so hard
to feed and clothe
during cold winter months
nearly a thousand boys and girls
in absolute need.
Hard to make ends meet for
a thousand students.

Pleas answered with gifts.
August through October, 1930:

Heartfelt appreciation.
We were destitute of money.
Take care of our large family –
answer with a gift.
Investments will bring returns  
in human dividends,
the kind of men and women that America needs. 

I personally am most grateful –
deep and lasting gratitude –
and will be delighted to
entertain you at any time.
You must stop over;
we have a pleasant guest house
as comfortable as if
you were in a hotel.
I thank you from my heart.


MBDA letters used: 

“Drought Letter Donation Records” 

“Letter to Martha Berry from Lewis R. Morris”

“Letter to Margaret Miller from Martha Berry” 

“Letter to Alex C. Mansell from Martha Berry” 

“Letter to Anna W. Hollenback from Martha Berry” 

“Letter to Fanny Norris from Martha Berry” 

“Letter to Friends from Martha Berry” 

"Letter to Henry T. Sloan from Martha Berry”

“Letter to Martha Berry from Georgia Robertson” 


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