If/Then Poem Example:

By Erin Coulter

I see you Erin Fife, circa 1995,
In your faded jeans and your boyfriend’s REM t-shirt,
Holding your world by its leash,
Confident, cool, and composed,
Hiding your uncertainty under a flannel shirt.
I’ve learned from your mistakes, little grunge-era girl,
So listen up for a life lesson.

Hold on tight to those fluttery butterflies;
They appear less frequently in the future.
The boy in the football jersey,
And the gaggle of girls,
Who seem to know so much more than you
And hold your happiness in their hands,
Will evaporate minutes after graduation,
Leaving you to finally think for yourself.
And the whisper-soft voice that was so hard to hear
Will become stronger, louder, assured and clear.

Trust yourself.
Be yourself.
Stop using other people’s eyes to see yourself.
And, most importantly, steal that REM t-shirt from What’s His Name
Because in 10 years that soft, vintage relic
Will be the only thing from that time of your life that you’ll actually miss.

Found Poem Example #1
Words and phrases taken from Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience pgs. 218 - 223

1800 - 1870: The Story of the Times
By Erin Coulter
Sixteen states clustered near the East coast. The Louisiana Purchase. The Gold Rush! More territory!!
Factories, Steel plows, reapers, and telegraph lines cut through vast, sod-covered grasslands;
A pageant rolling ever westward on a wave of canal building and on the rails of an iron horse.
Instant communication! Instant transportation!

National Pride!
A bustling new nation full of individuals optimistically pursuing their destinies.
A lively faith in the perfectibility of man;
What appears good today, may be better tomorrow!

Explosive population, economic growth, Industrialism, Emerging writers of distinction! Bright promise!

Be Romantic by defining yourself;
Choosing imagination over reason, intuition over fact.
Believe in the healing powers of nature.
Explore the fantastic aspects of human nature.

Or does the Transcendentalist truth lie outside the experience of the senses, residing, instead, in the soul?
Live alone in the woods and earn a living by the labor of your hands only, by planting beans on the shores of Walden Pond.
Individualism. Simplicity. Passive resistance to injustice.

Winds of Change.

Concealed guilt.
Wrestling with questions about confiscated lands, enslavement, death, immortality, and the soul....

African Americans remain enslaved, while the Cherokee perish on the Trail of Tears?
Women's rights?
Child labor?
Unsafe working conditions?

A bitterly divided nation.

The gathering storm finally bursts;
War clouds gather.
Great bursts of creativity, technology, and movement subside.
The last leaf upon the tree falls,
And the Civil War ages the nation's spirit.

Found Poem Example #2
Words and phrases taken from Us Weekly, Nov. 2nd, 2009

Hollywood Buzz-O-Meter
By Erin Coulter

Fashion police decide who wore it best.
The award for biggest skank?
Lindsey Lohan.
Drama queen dispenses mood stabalizing medication.
Hot Hollywood power couple's crazy prenup
Includes $5,000 shopping allowance.
Money is more important than love in this town.
We need more anti-aging eye rollers for that radiant glow,
And women digitally altered to emaciated proportions.
Celebrity secrets are a desparate hoax.

The Snowday Sonnet
By Erin Coulter

A solid wall of opaque thundersnow;
An ice-white prison, stranded in my home.
I'd really rather see the green grass grow -
Instead I'm trapped; from room to room I roam.
The first snowday, cozy comforts abound;
Contentment soon declines with fading bliss.
Cabin fever leaves us so tightly wound,
To wish for one more day would be remiss.
Mommy can only play pretend so long,
Before the cracks start to form in her mind.
"Read books! Build tracks for Thomas! Sing a song!
Couch-cushion bridge! Sheet tent! I'll hide, you find!"
All play, no work makes mommy a dull girl,
But going back to school might make me hurl.

Sensory Poem Examples:

by Erin Coulter

His eyes greet the sun
As it makes its way over the greenest pastures.
Cows graze amidst the quiet.
Pinching my nose, I interrupt to complain about the smell.
He replies, “That’s the smell of money, honey,”
And walks on, his hat tipped toward the sun

The Last Place, In Earth
By Erin Coulter

Drowning in darkness
Extinguished life flashes like a movie in my mind
Death invades the cold dark earth
The sickening sound of silence is broken only by racing thoughts.
Bound by fear
Confined and alone
Strangled and helplessness.
Cold penetrates skin and attacks bones
Finally, feeling subsides.