Brittany Allen
June 04, 2014 12:25 pm

For the past five years, The New York Times blog has sponsored a “found poetry” contest for its student readers. The rules of order? Applicants can use only two articles from the paper as material, and must sew together non-sequential words and phrases to create a brand new bit of free-verse. Like pastiche or collage or the present wave of Internet Poetry, this art form is all about re-appropriation. It’s also a nice bonus that the project has a bunch of middle schoolers spending afternoons with the newspaper.

Eleven contest winners were selected this morning, but one entry especially stands out – that of a one Kayla C., who styled her piece after a recent New York Times Opinionator article called, “Parenting the Non-Girlie Girl.” Using the limited dictionary of this piece, Kayla wrote the following rallying-feminist-cry:

I want to be a pilot

Not a woman who will cry into her chardonnay

I’m the prince dancing with Cinderella

A mighty girl, a spunky girl

A girl who makes other people uncomfortable

Because I can

Because I want to

And do it all in a dress

Ultimately my identity is for me to decide

So fold up the attention and

save it for when I like pink again

Last month’s National Poetry Month proved a big one for preternaturally gifted kid writers, but here’s hoping Kayla C. carries on. Goodness knows we need less women crying into their Chardonnay.

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