Three Ante War Poems

These three interlinked pieces were written using variations on a method of found poetry that I have been experimenting with over the last few years. The base text is Edwin Morgan’s 'Strawberries'. I formed words by searching along each line of the poem to generate a vocabulary from which to construct the new work. Thus, for example, the line ‘There were never strawberries’ produced over 140 available words – verse, west, neb, tarries, awe, stare and so on.

What emerged was a meditation on an anti-war theme which seemed fitting, although to me the word ante felt more appropriate and so I titled the piece in this way.

The first word of each line is placed in direct relation to where it can be found in the original poem.

Dorothy Alexander

Three ante war poems

(three interlinked found poems out of Edwin Morgan’s Strawberries)


There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

                 Edwin Morgan



    thought is a taint of sight

              stare at thought

    thought in fall

    thought in fall again


fact wastes

       each lie wipes the template



     lutes and verses serr in reverse

             as each war stashes its lewd gene



           news harries at half sly

               acid in deed



 and acid wastes

 and and acid







    how light the earth

when wrens in dowdy stab

forage sly in stone tether



the liar sings forget the wren

    let hail waste the feather



the lied to stare at theories

      tears merging in reverb

the wren abandoned




the lone he

the lone herr

        ache bent Inwards and dead to him

  dowdy and dead

     each need tossed in a toy idea



  and gee yes

         tight high male thrills



   thrills that tears strafe

 and no hells atone




Copyright © 2011 by Dorothy Alexander all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.