Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laura Purdie Salas - How to Talk to a Girl

How to Talk to a Girl
Laura Purdie Salas

(Laura says: This is my take on a found poem. I don't generally
use entire lines from source material. Instead, I use an article as
kind of a word pool to create a new poem from. In this poem, I found
an online tutorial about building your first robot and highlighted 

some interesting words and phrases in it. I was trying to
write a poem for about 6th-grade boys, so my topic became talking to

They look complicated.
They have interesting curved paths and varying speeds.
They should come with a manual.

They don’t.

So take my advice.

DO NOT get creative—
You’re only asking
for trouble.

The terminology is basic.

Talk about something small and cute.

Eating slugs won’t help you get the ladies.
(Trust me.)
You don’t have time to waste on mistakes.

Is there a kitten around?
That will be fine.
It may be unoriginal, but hey,
it’s your first try.

Just wing it.
Don’t quit halfway.
Remember the first time
is always hardest.


©2011 Laura Purdie Salas. All rights reserved.

Wow, do I love Laura Purdie Salas' method of creating a found poem. In fact, the only thing I might love more than her method is her source of original material and the direction she went with it. OK, and the poem. But other than that, I love nothing more than her method.

Laura is another one of the many poets here who is part of the Poetry Tag Time, the fabulous collection put together by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell (and available for only 99 cents!). You should check her out there, check out her books, and check out her blog, too, so you can see that it's not just found poetry that she nails. It's everything (like her prior poem here!)... and just one of the many reasons I'm so excited to have Laura Purdie Salas here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday Charles Ghigna let us all Be Still in the World. Up next... Carole Boston Weatherford with A BAT CAVE: An Abecedarian Bedtime Chronicle. For more information on 30 Poets/30 Days and how to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

This is one of my favorite Laura poems. It cracked me right up, and I did indeed have to go and read the source material, so hey: now I can make robots, too!

Diane Mayr said...

Nice job, Laura. You've caught the 6th grade damned if you do, damned if you don't animus.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Okay, not sure I ever heard of this kind of poetry before, but I adore what Laura has done with it! So clever!!! Now I'm going to be looking at EVERYTHING that has words on it and thinking, hmmm... just a little clip here and a tweak there, and...

Namaste and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love this. Seriously. And yeah - stay away from slugs.

Amy L V said...

What a blast this poem is! I think it would be helpful to many boys I know. And a good giggle for the girls. 'Glad this poem was found by you, Laura. A.

Rita said...

This is utterly fantastic, and I love the method used. I used to clip words out of random sources to label my mixed tapes (quite poetically, I might add). But it never occurred to me to take that idea farther.

Super love, and super relate!! Huzzah!!

Charles Waters said...

Wow I could have really used this poem in 6th grade ... well to be serious make that every grade I attended in school! You're so talented Laura!!!!!

laurasalas said...

Thanks for having me here, Greg--and thank you, everybody, for your great comments. What a lovely way to start my day, reading these...

I wrote this to submit to a found poem anthology, but it wasn't right for it. This is a bastardized found poem, since it's not just rearranging or changing line breaks and punctuation. But I don't know what else to call it, so I still claim it's a found poem:>)


Andromeda Jazmon said...

I love this poem so much! It's really wonderful how she chose that pool of words/phrases, and then was able to shape it into what she wanted to say.

Mary Lee said...

This poem would pair nicely with ORIGAMI YODA, a quintessential 6th grade boy book!

laurasalas said...

Thanks so much, Toby, Andi, and Mary Lee! Mary Lee, I haven't read Origami Yoda yet. Heard of it, but that's it. Off to put it on reserve at the library--thanks!