Found Poem – Alice Munro

For Writers Island writing prompt: Contingent

Found Poem

That Is What Happens

You put it away
for a little while,
and now and again
you look in the closet,
for something else
and you remember
and you think, soon.

Then it becomes
something that is just
there, in the closet,
and other things
get crowded in front
of it and on top of it
and finally you don’t
think about it at all.

The thing that was your
bright treasure. You don’t
think about it. A loss
you could not contemplate
at one time, and now it
becomes something
you can barely remember.

That is what happens.

Alice Munro in Runaway
Elizabeth Crawford 6/4/11

Notes: Was reading  the above novel last night and came across this quote which I thought read like a poem. Then found the prompt this morning and went back to the quote. I know that found poems are usually taken from technical writing or newspaper and magazine articles. This is a bit of a cheat because it comes from fiction. But when I saw the word contingent, I thought of the many things we care about deeply, even people, who somehow end up in that closet, barely remembered. Our treasures are contingent on our awareness, and continued nurture, to retain their definition as treasures.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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10 Responses to Found Poem – Alice Munro

  1. Berowne says:

    Very true. I’ve been tucked away a few times in the bottom of that closet myself. 🙂

    Thanks Berowne, that just means we have a lot in common,



  2. Pingback: Found Poem – Alice Munro « Soul's Music | Music

  3. pamela says:

    Love this, Elizabeth. It fits the prompt so well.


    Pamela, I found a very clear and distinct echo in your poem. Thank you,



  4. vivinfrance says:

    This poem is salutory lesson: keep aware, remember, communicate, apreciate what we have.

    Viv, so many times I have watched myself walk through this process, always promising myself I will return to this or that. Poetry is the one thing that was strong enough to hold out and wait for me to refind it again. Thanks for finding what I found in Munro’s words,



  5. So very true. Good job you did remember thought. Nice one.

    Anthony, as I read the words I had an image of that closet door opening and watching all those former treasures fall forward at my feet. It was an amazing experience and one I shall not soon forget. Thanks for reading and commenting,



  6. This is so true. Well done, Elizabeth. I love Alice Munro too.

    Glad to hear that, Sherry,



  7. Mary says:

    Yes, this is so true, Elizabeth. I was sorting some ‘things’ today and came upon some things that had been ‘treasures’ that I had forgotten about. One was a kimono from Vietnam that I fell in love with there but never wore. I stuck it in a drawer. It is now ready to wear, and I will use it. I think treasures MUST be used to be enjoyed, not just savored.

    For some reason, I’m thinking that kimono is blue. Thanks Mary, I really liked this when I read and it makes more sense everytime I do that,



  8. I really liked that.


  9. I really liked this poem.

    Glad you enjoyed, Madeleine,



  10. great read you’ve found. glad you posted it. always good to be reminded to appreciate the wonderful things we already have.

    Thanks Isabel, yes we too often take them for granted and they get lost in the shuffle.



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