Listen! Rhubarb’s growing!

I’ve been wanting to write a found poem for a while. Then recently, an Atlas Obscura article appeared in my Inbox. It was all about listening to the noises that forced rhubarb makes when it grows. What?! Yup. You read that correctly. When forced to grow in the dark, rhubarb grows up to an inch today and makes audible sounds as it grows. Take a listen.

Crazy, right? Who could resist the urge to write a poem about that? Not me! I was utterly entranced and once I read the accompanying article, I thought a found poem would be just the ticket.


Rhubarb Growing in the Dark

plant sounds
alarming rate
squeaks, creaks, and pops
sweeter rhubarb
sick beats
patient noise
listen for it
the sounds are there
out of season
in the dark
deep red stalks burst
distinct popping
squeaks and creaks
right tight to one another
sounds stand out
turn all the power things off

©2018 M. Hogan

a found poem inspired by an Atlas Obscura article, “Listen to the Sick Beats of Rhubarb Growing in the Dark” by Eric Grundhauser

Then ( because how often do you get to write a poem about rhubarb?), I had to write another poem.


Tart red juicy stems
forced to grow in darkness
cramped and crowded
They gripe, groan, and grow
with audible pain
a chorus of complaint
could this be a song?
Perhaps they rejoice
stretching their stalks
celebrating the season
nudging into neighbors
jubilant in their growth
singing a song of rhubarb-spring

©2018 M. Hogan

Note: In a happy little moment of serendipity, my poems meet two Poetry Month challenges today. “Rhubarb Growing in the Dark” meets Georgia Heard’s prompt for a Found Poem on Renee LaTulippe’s Poetry Month Challenge at her blog, No Water River. “Rhubarb-Spring”  accepts Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s invitation to write a “Title From The Text” poem in which you take a title from the text of your poem after you have written it.

11 thoughts on “Listen! Rhubarb’s growing!

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Who knew? This post fascinates me and makes me want to write a found poem, too. Rhubarb is really not something I would think to write about, though. I love how you are stretching your poetry muscles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Onomatopoeia! I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really love your two takes on rhubarb music; really love rhubarb and looking forward to my first rhubarb compote of the season! The found poem is interesting, but your composed poem is REALLY good:
    They gripe, groan, and grow
    with audible pain
    a chorus of complaint
    could this be a song?
    The two perspectives on the sounds is lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. leeheffernan says:

    These are phenomenal. I love knowing about the rhubarb sounds. THANKS!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kd0602 says:

    Hi Molly,
    Love your rhubarb poems! I think I need to have my students try their hands at a found poem this week…along with some time for feedback and revision on the 15 (I hope) they have written up to this point!



  6. Well done, Molly! I agree with Heidi that all your poetic magic is shining “singing a song of rhubarb-spring!”


  7. […] by blogger Molly Hogan over at Nix the Comfort Zone, I decided to try my hand at some found poetry…and to introduce my students to this process […]


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