Found Auburnun, by Geoffrey Hill

Inspired, or egged on perhaps, by my own recent discussion of found poetry in the satirical, parodic, or derivative mode, I’ve put together a new poem by Geoffrey Hill. Source below, plus the rules of composition, but let the poetry speak:

     fiede at acesaga ubur in ex lecta none

Plumage coloration: sexually selected
male quality | female condition.
Dependent trait, animal behaviour: a red bird
in a brown bag–the function and evolution
of ornament. House finch mechanics
carotenoid based. Coloration a basis of variation.
Male finches choosing mates (good genes!) —
Genes that are a good fit [jeers! – ED]. Effects
of endoparasitism the expression,
melanin-based | ornamental coloration.

Below is a screen shot of the source text [click for size], which I stumbled on using Google image search a few weeks ago. [Fun challenge to readers: write a different Geoffrey Hill poem using the same source.]

Other than one insertion by “-ED” in the style of Hill’s editorial incursions in Speech! Speech! all the text is from this page, in the original right-to-left sequence, beginning with “Auburn University.” I’ve elided words and parts of words, removed and inserted punctuation (including the “raised pipe”), and re-spaced and relineated the resultant text.

The source text for a found poem by Geoffrey Hill


  • Robert David Stanton wrote:

    Always up for a challenge. This is a little more ‘free’:

    Red bird, brown bag: plumage colouration
    indicator of male ‘quality’, ‘Good’
    not always inherent; sometimes
    the best fit. Choosing mates issue
    of ornamental endoparasitism,
    the differential effects on expression
    of carotenoid-and-melanin-based
    colouration (the proximate basis
    of variation in pigmentation).
    ‘Colourful’ always preferred. Follow
    new articles, new citations. No

  • D-AW wrote:

    @RDS Nice one. I’m working on putting together one of the late sapphics from this. I guess a real challenge would be Mercian Hymns.