Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tebowing: A Found Poem

Sometimes you don't know where a poem is going to come from. A poem can be such a mystical matter, after all. The poem below, a "found poem" that uses the text of several different news articles, holds its own mystical matter (if only because it is about the other worldly Tim Tebow), but it was actually written on a lark, an assignment/challenge from the esteemed Times editor Katherine Schulten based on a poetry prompt at the New York Learning Network blog.

I have to say, however, there is something mystical about putting together a found poem. You're using others' words, and it can feel like an act of criminal plagiarism, yet other forces guide you. Perhaps that's the lesson I take away from this: Poetry is an engagement in a life that's sometimes not yours, an immersion in others' language and thoughts, and no matter the poem or the subject, it can open up mysteries to ponder.

Here's the poem:


What does it mean to be Tebowed?
To meet defeat by God’s grace on a clunk of an arm?

Somewhere within all our reptilian hearts
lurks an instinct for trial-by-combat

Tebow flounders, and it looks like the Living Water Bible Church
out on Route 17 is wrong about pretty much everything

Did a receiver drop a pass?
James Dobson just choked on a nacho.

Did Tim throw an interception?
Daniel Dennett just chest-bumped Richard Dawkins.

Tebow's ability to complete a 15-yard out pattern to Matt Willis
is a referendum on the Book of Deuteronomy

It means something for the blue knight to kill the green knight
only if God is moving the swords.

“Whatever gets more people over to the cross,” Tim says.
One nation under God.

You never know when you're in your fourth quarter,
when you're in your two-minute drill


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