I love innovative poetry. I think a lot of people see poets in the same light as politicians – they are either ranty and extremist or old white men. We poets are often seen as pretentious and yet saying nothing meaningful – again like politicians. This makes it hard to show new techniques and ideas, it makes it hard to connect to your audience and it makes it hard to experiment.
The main thing that I want to do in writing poetry is finding new and exciting ways of writing and reading poetry. I have written Three Random Word poems, Poetry Postcards and After Poems. I’ve also written Found Poetry – which I first heard of when I entered and won the 2012 New York Times Found Poetry Competition. Found Poetry is taking an existing piece of text and creating a new poem from it.
Since 2009 I’ve been following brothers Hank and John Green on their YouTube channel Vlogbrothers. I love the community (known as Nerdfighteria) and their massive contribution to education, entertainment and charity. The lovely thing about Nerdfighteria is that no one ever looks down on you for being a nerd, for being enthusiastic about the things you love – even poetry.
I decided to combine these two things and write a Found Poem using only the comments from one particular YouTube video that John Green made about the exhibition ‘Ai Weiwei – According to What?’ (curated by his incredibly talented wife, Sarah Urist Green). It’s a wonderful video about an amazing subject and there were some insightful, humorous and moving comments.
Your Gift Survived
The youth of today is listening without losing
itself to the politics of a billion people.
Communication isn’t just art – whether or not
I see it, no matter the subject
my ignorance fades and I become Ai/I
keeping the human in humanity alive.
It’s a hard line to walk. Bring me to silence
and command my attention, to remember
and honor, to use the same building material again.
We stare at reconstructed art and poetry,
the musical architecture. It has meaning:
to want to make something happen, to look backwards
and forwards and to make me hold on.
The story behind rips your guts out, makes you think
for a moment – it changes the numbers back to humans,
rising people from their lives so often consumed with
meaningless criticism. Art meets the power, pass this around,
beautiful and tragic it will slip away so you force me
to question that moment, demonstrate your rights.
And there is no comparison.
I would like to thank John Green for the original inspiration as well as all of the commenters: Nik Warkoski; MikaylaRaePhish; Keeley Smith; Dan Noland; Sara Hargrave; essennagerry; Jessica Luo; cassmatazz; Jayde Makenzie; Jessica Lucas; ImpakaWarrior; bemyanchorage; Lyria0chan; SirDavies; captainawesomeisme; Lucinda886; Daniel Schilling; ClareG161; Tishia Arnold; stompySharpNpointy; FaerieatHeart13; Sarah Proctor; Piet Ruig; MidnightAge; pickletoes88; Cecilia McBrien; Puggle64; Molly Brewer; Humori; BasementRuthie; tobortine; bluebanshee3; Jonny Strutt; brkatimachor; Ronja Sun.