Anywhere we choose to look

Poetry is hiding. In train announcements, tabloid pages and grocery labels.

I have a new joy: The Found Poetry Project, a blog dedicated to celebrating the unintended beauty of ordinary prose.

“Anyone can write poetry and poetry is everywhere,” explains Timothy Green, who, with Megan O’Reilly Green, created the The Found Poetry Project blog in 2005. “Poetry is nothing more than finding enjoyment in the medium that we spend most of our waking hours living within. It happens by accident all the time.”

For example, with a few line breaks, a travel guide offers unexpected beauty:

From La Ventosa

roads lead
east and west.

Each soon splits

with a leg
heading inland

and a leg
following the coast.

One branch
following the coast

the other


to Oaxaca.

— Written by Mike Church and Terri Church
Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping, p. 318
Rolling Homes Press, 2005

— Found by Sandra Leigh
Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Rather than willing words into place, the Project seeks unintentional poetry, whether it’s in a newspaper article, a blog, a letter to a friend, bathroom graffiti — anywhere you don’t expect to find it. The rules are simple: no editing other than lineation, punctuation, or omission. Titles are optional.

“Poetry,” notes Green, “appears anywhere we choose to look.”