From the Times’s Learning Network blog:
Here are some ideas for finding a focus for your poem:
–A “New York Times found poem” can be composed of words and phrases taken from one Times article, past or present, or several. You can mix and combine these words and phrases into a new piece, or you might simply “find” some Times writing that you feel is already poetic, as Alan Feuer does with “Missed Connections” posts on Craigslist.
–Your poem can be on any topic or theme you like. For instance, it could be about something as broad as politics, music or travel, or it might celebrate something as specific as Lady Gaga, Philadelphia or the iPad.
–Your poem might focus on something currently in the news, whether health care reform, the World Cup, bullying, the Large Hadron Collider or therecession — or you might use the Times archives or our On This Day in History feature to create a poem about an event in the past.
–You could also explore a trend you’ve read about in The Times, such as the local food movement or the effects of technology on contemporary life. Or you might simply collect words and phrases from different articles around a theme, like “identity,” “loss,” or “joy.”