Bryan Appleyard pays homage to a sign in Wells-next-the-sea which includes a fine example of ‘found poetry’. Wikipedia gives another example from William Whewell’s "Elementary Treatise on Mechanics":
And hence no force, however great,
can stretch a cord, however fine,
into a horizontal line
that shall be absolutely straight.
Apparently the miserable sod changed the wording when this was pointed out to him.
The absolute apotheosis of the found poetry phenomenon is BBC Radio 4’s strangely haunting Shipping Forecast, (all too familiar to cricket lovers, as it interrupts Test Match Special). Read in a clear, calm, rhythmic voice, a typical poem might be:
Humber, Thames. Southeast veering southwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6 later. Thundery showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.
Tyne, Dogger. Northeast 3 or 4. Occasional rain. Moderate or poor.
Rockall, Malin, Hebrides. Southwest gale 8 to storm 10, veering west, severe gale 9 to violent storm 11. Rain, then squally showers. Poor, becoming moderate.
The most productive source of found poetry these days is email spam. Here's one made from a couple of days’ worth of subject lines, which I think summarises the Think of England philosophy nicely:
Peach blister. New Hampshire
went into remission.
ore smelter mis-mark.
Thanks! Placemats Turkey
Soggy support group