It is more than possible to collage with words as well as pictures – you're arranging other creations in a unique way, making the order yours even if you didn't come up with the original idea.
Collage poems work like this. Perhaps the thought of writing a poem instils you with fear, or you've only read gushing sonnets about the joys of nature (here's looking at you, William Wordsworth). Fear no more! Collage poems are as easy as shutting a poetry anthology, as they simply involve pulling lines from lots of different sources and slotting them together.
You will need:
STEP 1: Decide how you're going to write your collage poem. Are you going to be businesslike and write it up on the computer? Are you going to be more visual and illustrate your poem too? Or are you going to physically cut lines from your sources and stick them on the page? (make sure to ask permission if you're using other people's stuff)
STEP 2: Start looking for lines to use! Maybe there's a magazine lying around and you enjoy following the trials and tribulations of the Beckham family. Your first line could very well be “Brooklyn Beckham looks trendy as he checks out Victoria's new fashion store in London”, but it's probably best it's a bit punchier.
STEP 3: Keep collecting lines to use in your poem. You can aim for variety or for a strong theme/narrative, but make sure you use lots of different sources – ultimately your poem will be more interesting.
STEP 4: Decoration time! If you've typed your poem out, print it off and start to draw illustrations for each line. Make the poem come to life with pictures as well as words, and by the end you'll have a whole new creation.
Example collage poem by yours truly:
Why are so many children's authors such damaged human beings?
Really, one should stick to books where one sees the hero coming a mile off.
You will shimmy your way through many decades together,
Which china pattern you choose - it's all giving you away.
I had a flashback of something that never existed -
I was swimming in the Caribbean, animals were hiding behind the rocks.
You have to challenge anyone who gives you a funny look with a look of your own.
I've been dreaming of the things I learnt,
Ambition is great, wanting things is great.
I'm not sure if this was said with warmth, or irony
Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one.
Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?
Line 1: The Independent
Line 2: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
Line 3: Thought Catalog
Line 4: Chuck Palahniuk
Line 5: Louise Bourgeois
Line 6: Where Is My Mind? - Pixies
Line 7: Rookie Mag
Line 8: Something To Talk About – Badly Drawn Boy
Line 9: Rookie Mag
Line 10: Unknown
Line 11: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Line 12: The Wizard of Oz (1939)