Poetry Friday: Found Haiku

Ditty of the Month Club (DMC)I’ve written found poetry.

I’ve written haiku.

Somehow, I’ve never written “found haiku,” though, until my blogging poet friend Michelle H. Barnes encouraged her readers to do just that, on her blog Today’s Little Ditty!

Found poetry is created when one takes lines and words from one source – a newspaper, book, even another poem – and crafts a new poem. In the case of found haiku, Michelle’s guest this month, Linda Mitchell, challenged readers to write found poems in the form of haiku (technically, haiku is about nature, but we’re not splitting hairs).

It just so happened that the day I was planning to get started was the exact day I stumbled upon an article from NH Business Review about the resurgence (and surprising good health) of indie bookstores in our state. I ended up writing two poems – one less obviously about books than the other:

creative, nimble
little steps and sound footing
overwhelm death’s knell

resilience, savvy –
the book, unchanged like the shark,
continues to thrive

– © 2019 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

If you’d like to read more found haiku, you can check out her blog and see all the submissions she received this month, including these two. If you’re looking for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, you’ll find it at Reflections on the Teche, where Margaret Simon “stole” the title of an illustration to write a touching, thought-provoking poem.




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26 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Found Haiku

  1. lindabaie

    I continue to be happy that we have so many Indie bookstores here in the Denver area. One has been so successful that they’ve expanded. I like that “unchanged like the shark”, keeping on for all of us.


  2. margaretsmn

    I had to go read the article myself to see that they did, indeed, compare books to sharks. Our Indie bookstore seems to be holding its own. I need to be better about utilizing it.


  3. Kay Mcgriff

    I rejoice every time I hear news of indie bookstores thriving. I need to figure out where the closest one is now that we’ve moved. I enjoyed both of your haiku, but especially the first one.


  4. Linda Mitchell

    How wonderful that you have so many indie book stores! I don’t have nearly 20 in my small area of VA. And, isn’t found haiku fun? I really like the “unchanged like the shark” line. It packs a punch.


  5. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    These are terrific, Matt. It’s surprising that you pulled such evocative words and images from business article! I wish we had more indie bookstores near me… heck, I wish we had any bookstores other than Books-a-Million. So disappointing for a college town.


  6. Matt, the last haiku with its lines,
    “the book, unchanged like the shark,
    continues to thrive,”
    stood out to me. This is one that I want to tweet out to all the educators who are intent on creating lifelong readers.


  7. Thanks Matt. I love these lines,
    the book, unchanged like the shark,
    continues to thrive
    We have a thriving independent Children’s book store (www.kidsbooks.ca) here in Vancouver, Canada.
    BTW, I loved Flashlight Night! Unfortunately it is the only one of your books that is available in my library.


  8. Count me among the many who love the shark line and who are delighted to hear about your NH indie book stores thriving. We still have quite a few indie stores in Maine as well, though you have me curious about how our situation compares to NH. I might have to google about a bit and perhaps I’ll find an evocative article as well. What a great response to this month’s challenge!


  9. I appreciate your distillation of this article, and for sharing the good news from your part of the world. I can’t say we’re having the same luck here, sadly. The shark line is one for the ages!


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