Topic: April is National Poetry Month

You can “recast” words that you find in the newspaper to use them in another type of text – a poem.
A found poem is created by taking words or phrases from a text and arranging them into a poem.

Let’s say you are going to write a found poem based on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

First, you look over this speech and choose the following words or phrases that you like – nation, Liberty, all men are created equal, war, testing, battlefield, resting, hallow this ground, nobly advanced, honored dead, devotion, birth of freedom, for the people, and shall not perish. Then you use those words and phrases that you mined from what Lincoln said to write a poem. For example:

Nation of Liberty
Men equal war.
Testing, Testing, Battlefield.
Hallow this ground
And nobly advance the birth of freedom
For the people

You can do this activity alone or with a partner. Happy Poetry Month!

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