because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse


She is deadly
and beautiful to watch.
shadowboxing, born. best
of children. seemingly
abandoned. it is hard
to understand
how it was back then, (how)
discipline comes from
love. The Sun translates keys
to unlocking these doors
as petals
of the mei hua, the plum
blossom; uses
small steps,
the power
of the elbow. maybe
too much.

blossoms from the gardens at Nanzenji temple, Kyoto

This is a Found Poem from the workshop on Jan 20. Text is from an article in Inside Kung-fu, July 2005.

38 responses

  1. Very nice found poem.

    January 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm

  2. Not exactly sure what a found poem is, but I’m glad I found this.

    January 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    • Mosk, “found” means the actual words (except for the parenthetical “how” in this case, and the title) came from somewhere else. I took all the other words, and in more than one case whole lines, from a kinda random article in a kung-fu magazine. πŸ™‚ The link to the workshop probably explains it more coherently. You know what they say: mediocre poets borrow, great poets steal. πŸ˜‰

      January 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm

  3. fascinating that this is a found poem…it scans likely…deadly and beautiful go together often in life eh? smiles. how discipline comes from love is another line that sticks…

    January 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    • interesting that you picked out two lines that i actually lifted verbatim. *smiles* thanks for dropping by, b.

      January 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

  4. for me this has something palpable sad… i wonder about her history and what made her who she is…great title…

    January 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    • thanks, claudia. i think the title is one of my favorite things about it, too. and i like that the “she” is nebulous… the original article had references to growing up in China under the regime of Chairman Mao… and even though there was no “she” in it, i think that colored the whole poem.

      January 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm

  5. great stuff

    January 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    • thank! πŸ™‚

      January 22, 2014 at 10:22 am

  6. This ‘found poem’ is quite a find this morning!! Interesting concept.

    January 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

    • Thank you, Mary. πŸ˜‰

      January 22, 2014 at 10:23 am

  7. “She is deadly
    and beautiful to watch.
    shadowboxing, born. best
    of children. seemingly
    abandoned.” Successful use of random lines. Very nice.

    January 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

  8. A found poem but your creative pen lifts it up to something different ~ Love the textures specially –

    shadowboxing, born. best
    of children. seemingly

    Happy to have stumbled in your blog ~

    January 22, 2014 at 11:24 am

    • thanks, Grace! it was fun pulling out these lines & finding something entirely different within them. πŸ™‚

      January 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  9. ‘(how)
    discipline comes from
    love.’ ~ interesting thought

    January 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

    • there’s definitely a line to be drawn there, though.

      January 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

  10. Definitely an excellent find.

    January 22, 2014 at 11:56 am

    • *curtsies* thanks, Anthony!

      January 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm

  11. Thanks for introducing us for this ‘found’ poem, Joanna, and for writing such a beautiful one!

    January 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    • and thank you for stopping by, Gabriella! πŸ™‚

      January 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  12. loved the title… loved the poem… loved the mystery behind the words

    January 22, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    • πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      January 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm

  13. Good job of finding a consistently mysterious mood for this found poem!

    January 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    • Thanks, Marina!

      January 24, 2014 at 11:14 am

  14. Wonderfully found.. just like everything of beauty we have to know were to look to find beauty.

    January 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    • i think the trick is to find beauty where many do not, and bring it to the light. that should be part of the job description for “poet.” πŸ™‚

      January 24, 2014 at 11:22 am

  15. Love the mix of beauty, discipline and culture whether the flower is her or she is the flower.

    January 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    • thank you, colleen.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

  16. poetrypea

    I have seen this technique before. This is one of the better examples I have read.

    January 23, 2014 at 6:21 am

    • woe– thanks! it was a first-time workshop exercise for me; fun to do and worth re-visiting, i think.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

  17. Dear Joanna, I liked your found poem. πŸ™‚ I happen to be running an online found poetry collaboration via my site ArtiPeeps (a collaborative creativity site for emerging creatives from all disciplines) during March-May and I was wondering if you might like to join the collaboration? Another 3 poets are taking part. I’m firming creatives’ involvement by the middle of next week so do let me know, and then I can send you details. All good wishes. Nicky Mortlock (director of ArtiPeeps) . P.S. There’s no pressure attached to this.

    January 24, 2014 at 5:08 am

    • Nicky, would love to be involved. Send me an email with details? Seems like a great group you have over there. Thanks!!

      January 24, 2014 at 11:14 am

  18. Must be fun to find and recreate. Lovely.

    January 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

    • It is indeed! πŸ™‚ thanks, lady!

      January 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm


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