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Found poem

In which lead educator shares one of her own found poems and how it was created.

Helen’s poem ‘Skirt’ started life when she was reading a Wikipedia article about 1920s Western fashion, not particularly ‘searching’ for a poem at all. In the next activity, we will be asking you to write a such found poem.

A found poem is a poem made of words taken from somewhere else: billboards, snippets of conversations, shopping receipts, diaries, adverts and more. A wonderful example for instance is the poem ‘a woman goes’ by Brazilian poet Angélica Freitas.[1] Here she creates a poem by typing partial phrases such as ‘a woman goes’ into Google. Google then completes the phrase automatically, which Freitas then lists: ‘a woman goes to the movies | a woman goes to get ready’. To read the full poem use the link (below).

In the video, Helen describes how she wrote the found poem ‘Skirt’. When you heard and saw the video, what did you think the found elements are? And where did she find them? Share your thoughts with the other learners.


For the first time in centuries women’s legs were seen with hemlines rising to the knee.

They are too short it makes men want to go up their skirts I am 60 years old do you agree?

Knife-pleated skirts low-waisted dresses, letting women quite literally kick up their heels.

I too am past it and still want to go up women’s skirts I know how that feels

Proper attire for women was enforced for morning, afternoon activities, adorned with sashes, artificial flowers at the waist.

I know we enjoy it however it ruins our summer and I am tired, you can’t look at their face

A more masculine look including flattened breasts and hips short hairstyles like the Marcel Wave, the Eton Crop.

I don’t go out of my way to stare down her top, it’s just we get out of focus and then we fail our exam

Marcel Gateau. Francois Marcel. Given the dates, it’s quite possible they were all the same man.

Additional video

Helen reciting Skirt


[1] A woman goes by Angélica Freitas [Internet]. 2018 [cited 29 March 2018]. Available from:

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How To Make A Poem

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