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English

DARKNESS POEM - FOUND POETRY

"Found" poems are essentially built from bits of broken text. The poems are original as poems; you invent their
themes and their ordering. You do not invent sentences. Words can be dropped but not added. This is editing at
its extreme: writing without composing.

THE TASK:
In Heart of Darkness Conrad frequently mentions voicesvoices of the river and jungle, Kurtzs voice, the entire
story is even told by Marlows voice. Your poem will focus on at least two voices(i.e. each section can have a
voice, focus on the voices of the three main characters, voices of the women, etc.). Your entire poem must focus
on a particular theme.
To create your poem, you are going to use only words and phrases from Heart of Darkness; you may NOT use
phrases more than SIX words in length. Each word or phrase must be cited simply put the page number in
parentheses at the end of each line used (see sample). Phrases can be no longer than four words. You should have
a variety of language taken from the original text. You also need to include an epigraph, a quotation from another
text that will enhance your purpose.
REQUIREMENTS:

- at least 30 lines
- depicts major theme
- at least one line demonstrating alliteration
-at least two examples of figurative imagery
-at least two examples of sensory imagery
- a clear tone
-an established mood
-a brief (150-200 words) letter explaining your intention in creating the poem and how
it relates to the novel

You must pull your poetry from pages in Heart of Darkness to create this thematic
verse. On any given page of text there are many words that weave together to form a
thematic message. Finding the words is the first step and the hardest part. Next, the
words on the page must be in the order of the theme or symbol you want to express.
Process:
Go back through your notes and the novel and pull the words and phrases that you are going to use in
your poem.
Determine what your poem will be about and how it will relate to the novel, then write a proposal
explaining what you intend to do in your poem.
Create two copies of your poem
o one with title/subtitles, epigraph and no citations,
o one with title/subtitles, epigraph, and citations.
Write your intention letter/rationale

Adapted from Mary Ellen Ackerman and Ryan Gallagher

English 4

DARKNESS POEM - FOUND POETRY

Found Poem SAMPLE (without source pages):


Merry Dance of Death - C. Chase

Clap your teeth before your heart flies out.
Death is skulking in the air, as people black and naked
Choked by excessive humanizing
Become black shadows of disease and starvation.

Indeed a heavenly mission ...Of brute force.
Burglars tear treasure out of the bowels of the land,
While butchers improve unhappy savages, and rave of the conquest of earth,
Or bathe in the glitter of the great river glory.

Sunken eyes, enormous, vacant orbs
And messengers of the might within the land are
Buried in a vast grave of civilization, plastered in pain and despair.
Everything, in that lightless region of subtle horrors, in apple-pie order.
As the merry dance of death goes on.

But what does price matter, I
f the trick is done well?


Found Poetry Poem SAMPLE (with source pages):

Merry Dance of Death - /C. Chase
[Clap your teeth before] your [heart flies out.]




30/30
[Death is skulking in the air,] as [people black and naked]



4/12
[Choked by excessive] [humanizing]





29/29
[Become] [black shadows of disease and starvation.]



14

Indeed [a heavenly mission] ...Of[brute force.]




5/4
[Burglars] [tear treasure out of the bowels of the land,]



27
While [butchers] [improve] [unhappy savages,] and [rave] [of the conquest of earth,] 27/29/13/26/4
Or [bathe in the glitter of the great river] [glory].



27/5

[Sunken eyes, enormous, vacant] [orbs]




14
And [messengers of the might within the land] are



2
[Buried in a vast grave of] [civilization,] [plastered] in [pain] [and despair].

57/30/62/14/14
[Everything], [in that lightless region of subtle horrors], [in apple-pie order]
15/53/15
As [the merry dance of death goes on.]





11

[But what does price matter,]






30
[If the trick is done well]?






30


Page numbers to the right are from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Dover Thrift Edition

Adapted from Mary Ellen Ackerman and Ryan Gallagher