A found poem

The Magic Lantern*

is a pleasing Family Amusement
well-suited to all ages
and both sexes,
ready in a few minutes
for the entertainment
of friends or families;
in fact, a cheerful house
should never be without one.

Each has twelve sliders,
on which are finely painted
about sixty grotesque figures,
which by reflection are magnified
from a miniature, as large as nature,
according to the size of the lantern,
which, when humorously displayed,
may entertain twenty persons,
or more at the same time,
and are well adapted
for Youth at this season.

This is a found poem, taken without any changes to the text accept for line breaks, from a digital version of News From the Past, 1805- 1887, by edited Yyvonne Ffrench in 1934.

Magic Lantern

Magic Lantern

8 thoughts on “A found poem

  1. deb says:

    Wonderful poem, wonderful source. (I want to change my name to Ddebb Sscott.) It’s really odd, I was *just* thinking about this type of found poem a few days ago.


    • christine says:

      Deb, I thought the spelling of her name was odd too. How did that spelling evolve? I got the idea to do this from one of my prompts for rwp, and I’m telling you, it would have been easier to write something myself. Searching for poems on google books is tough!

      But I agree with you, Carolee, those old articles are more effusive and colorful.


  2. Julie says:

    This is great! I especially love that last stanza. It’s also interesting how words like “grotesque” have different shades of meanings over time. What a fun post. Now I want to go find a poem!


  3. christine says:

    Michelle, I found the picture by googling ‘magic lantern + clip art.’ There’s a site that provides material that can be copied freely.

    Thanks, Jo and Julie. I’m still going to keep searching for that great found poem!


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