A Found Poem, a Collage of Language

A found poem uses language discovered in a non-poetic context and turns it into poetry. Writing found poetry is like creating a collage of language, the way a visual artist might use scraps of paper, cloth, feathers, or other objects to produce something new and beautiful.

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Below are two poems by Al Fogel, which use texts from the Veteran's Benefits Administration almost verbatim. Mr. Fogel has told us that "Headstone Service" and "VA Automobile" are "about 99% pure." In "pure" found poetry, the poet may add line breaks but does not change or omit the actual words.

Found Poetry by Al Fogel

Headstone Service

(from Directory Of VA Benefits)

Headstone or 
grave marker
upon request
to any member
of the
Armed Forces 
whose last 
tour of service 
was terminated honorably 

by death 

Headstone provided without


VA Automobile

(from Directory Of VA Benefits)

A veteran who suffered a service-connected loss

    of one hand or one foot

    or one knee or one hip

    or permanent loss of use of

    one hand or one foot

    or permanent impairment of vision

    of both eyes

is entitled to an Automobile 

Payment up to $9,000 provided

    --excluding adaptive equipment

Next steps

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