Swan, A Found Poem

After reading “The White Flakes,” a Found Poem from Schindler’s List in which the author recasts a text as a poem, deleting words while keeping the important nouns and verbs to the best effect and choosing the lines and breaks, I decided to give it a try. Here is my attempt from a favorite childhood book, The Trumpet of the Swan

Ko-hoh!  Ko-hoh!
Pure white with black bills,
The Canada marsh different with their arrival.
A boy, writing in his daybook,
Observes the trumpeter swans.
Soon five cygnets, brownish-gray,
One lacking a voice,
Until a slate with a white chalk pencil.

But still,
A Trumpeter Swan that couldn't trumpet,
So a noble quest for a beautiful brass trumpet,
By a father, for the love of his son,
But which hasn't been paid for,
So a musician is born,
At Camp Kookooskoos,
His notes lingering on the still waters of the lake.

On to other cities,
Passionately blowing his horn,
Attempting to restore his father's honor,
Repay the shopkeeper,
And favorably impress a female.
When in love, one must take risks-
Her astonishment grew at his song,
Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me.

Homecoming, finally,
Reunion at Red Rock Lakes,
Debts repaid.
Back to the enchanting pond in Canada,
To begin their pleasant and interesting life,
Lucky to inhabit a beautiful earth,
To look forward to the light that returns with the day.

This book, as well as all of E.B. White's books, were a huge part of my childhood.  I spent long hours reading and rereading his stories; I was an animal lover who couldn't get enough of the fantasy world where humans and animals interact. Skimming and scanning back through the text to create this Found Poem was challenging, but brought back such childlike joy and delight.  I'm so appreciative of writing prompts that push me, but also allow me to reclaim all the parts of myself.

2 responses to “Swan, A Found Poem”

  1. Oh, you’ve inspired me to give this a try. I love the idea of using a treasured book from your childhood to create a found poem. Yours was delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It was hard, but such a fun trip down memory lane!!

      Liked by 1 person

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