Laid Away Already in Lavender
Found poem with added punctuation using
Chapter Eight of The Great Gatsby
by Jennifer Finstrom

He had never been in such a beautiful house before:
rose petals blown, the bright luxury of star-shine.

It was a cold fall day with fire in the room.
Even though she was gone from it, redolent
of orchids, pervaded with a melancholy beauty.

Ghostly birds began to sing among the blue leaves.
We pushed aside curtains that were like pavilions,
filling the house with grey turning, gold turning light.

Small grey clouds took on fantastic shapes,
summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life:
poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air.

But it was all going by too fast now: a hundred pairs
of golden and silver slippers shuffled the shining dust.

IMAGE: “Oui” by George Barbier (1921).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love found poetry, but this is the first The Great Gatsby found poem I’ve ever written. It was such a pleasure retyping Fitzgerald’s sentences that I’m certain I’ll return to his work again soon.



Jennifer Finstrom
 teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates a writing group, Writers Guild, at DePaul University. She has been the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine since October of 2005, and recent publications include Escape Into LifeMidwestern GothicNEAT, and YEW Journal. She also has work appearing in the Silver Birch Press The Great Gatsby Anthology and forthcoming in the Alice in Wonderland Anthology.