SHE ADMIRED THE DARK
a found poem: Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway
She hadn't beauty and knew it.
feel cut to such an extent that she wrapped herself
veins shocked her. In summer she sat smoking after dinner
talking to the floor. Society was not to be envied.
She could quarrel with literally anything:
an old man talking to a ruby ring
and night—where ideas were
Large-eyed life was always
a found poem: Virginia Woolf's The Waves
The elm tree in the park where I finally clutched your hand.
I was so myself—opened up, stupid
You—faithless and empty—darted in and left me
When I knew our partings were forever
You once seemed tender.
To write these poems, I select a paragraph of text from a Woolf novel—so far, either The Waves or Mrs. Dalloway—and only use the words from that paragraph to create a poem. I essentially write a poem while doing a word search using Virginia Woolf as source material. I don't allow myself to repeat words, add words, or edit the language for tense or any other consideration. These poems are simultaneously defined by both Woolf's choices with language as well as my own. They feel like an homage to Woolf as well as a way to express my own often-chaotic thoughts about the world I inhabit.