top of page
  • Writer's pictureNazifa Islam

L.M. Montgomery Found Poems in The Account

I am beyond thrilled to share two L.M. Montgomery found poems—to make a change from all the Sylvia Plath of the last couple years—with you all in the National Poetry Month issue of The Account!

I started writing L.M. Montgomery found poems last year, and The Account is the first journal to publish any of these poems. Check out "I Was Afraid Too" and "Every Frightened Moment," the first written using a paragraph from Anne of Green Gables and the second using a paragraph from Emily of New Moon!

Unlike my Woolf and Plath found poems, my L.M. Montgomery found poems are often at odds (for lack of a better term) with their source material. Montgomery writes largely joyful work while my poems tend to focus on the existential. After years of writing found poems using source material that (largely) neatly fit the themes I'm interested in, I'm finally at a point where I can subvert the source text to create poems that are indeed found poems but that don't necessarily speak to the intentions of the source paragraphs. This is a big jump for me, but I'm really excited about the Montgomery found poems I've been writing and I'm so thrilled to start sharing them with you all!

Here are the paragraphs I used for "I Was Afraid Too" and "Every Frightened Moment" with the words I selected in red.

"I Was Afraid Too"

That,” she said, pointing to the picture—a rather vivid chromo entitled, “Christ Blessing Little Children”—“and I was just imagining I was one of them—that I was the little girl in the blue dress, standing off by herself in the corner as if she didn’t belong to anybody, like me. She looks lonely and sad, don’t you think? I guess she hadn’t any father or mother of her own. But she wanted to be blessed, too, so she just crept shyly up on the outside of the crowd, hoping nobody would notice her—except Him. I’m sure I know just how she felt. Her heart must have beat and her hands must have got cold, like mine did when I asked you if I could stay. She was afraid He mightn’t notice her. But it’s likely He did, don’t you think? I’ve been trying to imagine it all  out—her edging a little nearer all the time until she was quite close to Him; and then He would look at her and put His hand on her hair and oh, such a thrill of joy as would run over her! But I wish the artist hadn’t painted Him so sorrowful looking. All His pictures are like that, if you’ve noticed. But I don’t believe He could really have looked so sad or the children would have been afraid of Him.”

"Every Frightened Moment"

Emily went home with a determined twist to her mouth. She ate as much supper as she could—which wasn’t much, for Aunt Elizabeth’s face would have destroyed her appetite if she had had any—and then sneaked out of the house by the front door. Cousin Jimmy was working in his garden but he did not call her. Cousin Jimmy was always very sorrowful now. Emily stood a moment on the Grecian porch and looked at Lofty John’s bush—green-bosomed, waving, all lovely. Would it be a desecrated waste of stumps by Monday night? Goaded by the thought Emily cast fear and hesitation to the winds and started briskly off down the lane. When she reached the gate she turned to the left on the long red road of mystery that ran up the Delectable Mountain. She had never been on that road before; it ran straight to White Cross; Emily was going to the parish house there to interview Father Cassidy. It was two miles to White Cross and Emily walked it all too soon—not because it was a beautiful road of wind and wild fern, haunted by little rabbits—but because she dreaded what awaited her at the end. She had been trying to think what she should say—how she should say it; but her invention failed her. She had no acquaintance with Catholic priests, and couldn’t imagine how you should talk to them at all. They were even more mysterious and unknowable than ministers. Suppose Father Cassidy should be dreadfully angry at her daring to come there and ask a favour. Perhaps it was a dreadful thing to do from every point of view. And very likely it would do no good. Very likely Father Cassidy would refuse to interfere with Lofty John, who was a good Catholic, while she was, in his opinion, a heretic. But for any chance, even the faintest, of averting the calamity impending over New Moon, Emily would have faced the entire Sacred College. Horribly frightened, miserably nervous as she was, the idea of turning back never occurred to her. She was only sorry that she hadn’t put on her Venetian beads. They might have impressed Father Cassidy.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page