Poetry Friday: Collecting found poetry from a poetry collection about collections…that’s not too confounding, is it?

The day my first author copies arrived, I remember thinking, “Wow, things are gettin’ real now!”

First of all, can I just tell you how amazing and surreal it is to realize that it has been precisely TWO YEARS since my debut picture book, Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2017) arrived in the world? Two years! My little baby was born on Sept. 19, 2017, and I don’t know if two years have ever flown by that quickly in my life. It’s extremely humbling to know that I’ve been able to follow that up with 8 more books between 2018 and 2022…and I couldn’t do any of this without the support of folks like you who have read, reviewed, or shared news about the book. So THANK YOU, very much, everyone!

Well now, it’s been a busy week. Last Friday, my friend Michelle Schaub visited the ol’ Triple-R to celebrate her new poetry collection, Finding Treasure (Charlesbridge, 2019), and we offered a personalized signed copy we would give away to one random winner!

If you’d like to enter the drawing, all you need to do is share a found poem using the words from Michelle’s poem, “Collecting Stars:”

(click to enlarge)

A “found poem” is simply a poem that uses the words from one source – like a magazine, newspaper, book, etc. –  to create a poem. I’ve already had a number of entries pouring in, and the contest is still open until I announce the winner next Friday!

Here are some of the poems readers have shared so far:


Watch embers glow:
Sparks sparkle, dance, flash, beckon.
Darkness deepens.

– Yvona Fast



darkness deepens

– Liz Steinglass



A mason jar …
Glow Free

– Vicki Wilke

Fill the Darkness

Though it’s hard,
f l o a t
e …………………………….

– Janet (Fagal) Clare



It’s hard
to catch
a mason jar
of stars

– Linda Mitchell



streams, dreaming of a
sea roaring, whispering deep,
caress polished shells

– © Damon Dean, 2019


Darkness sparks
a flash,
a starlight dance.
“Come, it’s free to glow!”

– Linda Baie


watch the light specks
flash, dance, glow-
a star mason jar!

– Joyce Ray


Embers of stars,
specks of starlight
float and dance
around and beckon,
Watch–Catch us
when darkness deepens…

– Michelle Kogan

Finally, my own found poem – and because I never met a challenge I couldn’t pass up, I decided I was going to write one that was rhyming and metrical:

Star Collecting

Darkness deepens, embers glow;
these sparks aren’t mine to keep, I know.
They dance around the yard, and I
watch specks of stars float free.

– © 2019, Matt F. Esenwine

Want to enter the giveaway? You still have time! Just share your found poem in the comments below or email it to me at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com. As I mentioned last week, your poem doesn’t need to be long, polished – or good! It just needs to include only words from Michelle’s poem, above.

I’ll announce the winner by a random drawing next Fri., Sept. 27, so I hope to see your entry! And by the way, since today is Poetry Friday, be sure to visit Teacher Dance, where Linda Baie is hosting the complete roundup with a spotlight on a new upcoming book by Irene Latham and Charles Waters!


Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!


Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

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22 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Collecting found poetry from a poetry collection about collections…that’s not too confounding, is it?

  1. lindabaie

    I love living in Colorado, but one wonderful thing I miss are those “specks of stars” I grew up with in Missouri. Two years passed very quickly for sure. I still love your book, Matt, a special story!


  2. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Congratulations to Michelle on this beautiful new collection that I’ve been anticipating since last spring! Please know that I enjoyed last week’s interview, even if I didn’t get around to commenting. 🙂 Plus, your rhyming found poem is pretty darn impressive, Matt! Here’s mine:


    Specks of light
    spark and dance
    I watch them float free
    when darkness deepens


  3. I adored Michelle’s poem. At first it made me sad that we don’t get fireflies where I live. I still started gathering words and soon recalled one evening last summer watching northern lights dancing on the horizon. Everyplace has it’s particular joys, right?

    darkness deepens
    purple sky
    sparks of starlight
    way up high

    sky festooned with
    dancing light
    colors pulsing
    dazzling sight

    By the way, I adored Flashlight Night!


    1. Wow, what a poem, Cheriee! Thanks for sharing. Thanks so much for your kind words about “Flashlight Night,” as well! I’ve only seen the Northern Lights once in my life, about 12 years ago here in NH, but we get fireflies every night of summer…as you said, every place has its own joys!


  4. Michelle Kogan

    Fun post Matt, thanks for sharing all the found poems from Michelle’s original! The time has flown by–and you sure have been busy with new books, congrats on all these treasures!


  5. Star Collecting

    They come
    When darkness deepens
    A reminder to share

    My own
    Sparks of starlight
    With tender care

    Absorb, release them
    to the night

    into morning’s light.

    Linda Trott Dickman


      1. That’s ok, Linda! It’s all about fun and creativity as far as this goes! To answer your question: a found poem, by definition, only uses words from a particular source; in other words, no additional words are added. Does that make sense? But again, it’s a wonderful poem, nonetheless!


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