Friday, February 23, 2018

Found Poem

Unsplash photo by Andy Mai

These Days (a found poem)

These days, far too many whom we have admired
have proven to be bad.

We are all complicated individuals... 

If I were to dismiss every piece of art
because of something in the artist's life that is/was inexcusable,
I fear,
art would not be something I could partake in.
If I don't know the inexcusable now,
I may find out about it later.
I think this discussion needs to be continued.
It has my head spinning.

We are all complicated individuals... 

Yes, we can mourn and miss the good
that coexists with bad
inside a complicated person.
I think it is important to acknowledge and recognize both
even though it is hard to do.

We are all complicated individuals... 

Quite often,
is it not the case,
the real art comes from the troubled places in us?
And sometimes from the troubled among us,
who are blown about by unseemly urges,
who feel so out of the ordinary stream
that they lose sight of the channeling banks?
We need not excuse the wrong-doing to be touched by the art.

We are all complicated individuals... 

I don't know that to do with the bad and good,
except love people for who they are.
Help them achieve better than they did before.
We can't cut people out of the herd and consider our jobs done.
If trees fall, we make furniture.
When a forest burns, new seeds take root.
When our idols fall,
perhaps they will rise again
as mere people.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018

This is a poem I found in the comments on last week's Poetry Friday post. I created it in appreciation for your thoughtful responses to my lament about the loss of the Writer's Almanac. They were just to good to leave in the comment boxes!

(Thanks, also, for all of the writing encouragement!)

Liz has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at Elizabeth Steinglass.


  1. Wow. Thank you for this, Mary Lee. You are such a wise listener which contributes greatly to your wise writing and teaching. xxxx

  2. This is so powerful and such a complex topic. Thank you for this.

  3. Awesome found poem, ML. I was struck by the line "real art comes from the troubled places in us." Your curating of comments is thought provoking and powerful. Thank you!

  4. It is hard, but we can find the good if we make sure we don't forget to look. Thanks, Mary Lee. This is a thoughtful response to the comments.

  5. Such a neat idea to make a found poem from the comments! And you did a wonderful job.

  6. Wow.....that is an amazing distillation. Bravo. You go straight to the heart with laser focus. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Thank you for finding this, reflections on a possibly unanswerable question. "Perhaps they will rise again as mere humans." I keep thinking of that poor boy they're calling a monster, a sicko, and how much he suffered before he caused so much suffering.

  8. Ha, ha, I thought it sounded vaguely familiar!

  9. This is a thoughtful poem and knowing it was formed from this community of writers strengthens it and the community. We are all complicated. Nothing is as simple as it may seem. Thanks for spreading some much needed empathy into this world.

  10. Wow! There is incredible wisdom shared here and thoughtfully curated and crafted by you. Thank you for inviting us to continue to reflect and share. Life is indeed complicated.

  11. I was reading along and then I found my words in the ending there. I love that you created that poem of all our comments. XOXO

  12. Somehow I had missed your last TWO posts - how did that happen? I am so so so sad about the Writer's Almanac no longer being available. Like everybody else you're quoting in your found poem, I am struggling with it. Back and forth. Back and forth.


Comment moderation is turned on.