Found Poem [THE GRACE OF KENTUCKY] - Jay McCoy
Found Poem [THE GRACE OF KENTUCKY]
by Jay McCoy
A found poem is the literary equivalent of a visual collage made from existing text such as newspaper articles, letters, signs, stories, or other poems. The poet may choose to blackout or erase words from a single text or lift words, phrases, or sentences from a variety of sources and join them together. The newly-crafted poem takes on its own meaning. In these poems, I chose the erasure method, removing certain words to create a more appropriate representation of Breathitt County than what the original New York Times article suggested.
THE GRACE OF KENTUCKY
the public peace
freely to the
behaved and talked like
had the courage to
save the Commonwealth
from beginning to end curious
[found in The New York Times, 18 June 1903]
How does Breathitt County represent “the grace of Kentucky” to you? How have its people showed courtesy, courage and other positive qualities in difficult times?
Jay McCoy is a Lexington-based poet and visual artist with deep roots in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, he fills his days as a contract editor, writer, bookseller, and writing instructor.
This column is brought to you by Our Breathitt, a community arts and health experience bringing together artists and Breathitt Countians from across Kentucky. Project is organized with IDEAS xLab (an artist-led nonprofit), and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Starting in August 2019, five collaborating writers, each with their own perspectives and ties to the county, will offer weekly columns and audio stories for radio and podcasts. Contact us at 859-397-1317 to join this conversation by leaving a voicemail with your response to the questions we raise and adding thoughts of your own! You may hear your responses incorporated into future posts and narratives! You can also email at email@example.com. We hope you will mark your calendars and join us at the Our Breathitt Summit, October 11-12 in Jackson, Kentucky. Information at www.ideasxlab.com/ourbreathitt.