Poetry is everywhere, especially in places you would least expect it to be. Even the most mundane texts — be it a news article or street advertising — have poetry within them. Such is the sentiment conveyed by writers involved with the “found poetry” genre, most famously explored by Williams Carlos Williams in his epic, “Paterson.”
Erica Baum’s recent collection “Dog Ear” introduces a new direction for the found poetry experiment. By photographing and magnifying dog-eared page corners, this poet-photographer comes up with a series of witty, complex poems, three of which are featured on The Arty Semite today.
Unlike more traditional sources for found poetry, which is usually discovered in public places, dog ears are extremely private — one reader’s experiences with a given edition of a given book. As Kenneth Goldsmith puts it in the introduction: “The dog ear is site-specific: like its namesake, it stays forever close and loyal to its master, embedded in a history of a specific volume.”