Found poems” are poems often made up of snippets of things heard or seen. They can also be taken whole cloth from writings that weren’t intended as poetry, but can be read as such (poetry being as subjective as it is subjected to rules).

Today, in honor of Father’s Day, we present a poetic part of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Worry/Don’t Worry list,” written to his 11-year-old daughter, Scottie, and collected in F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters, published by Scribner’s in 1995.

 tumblr_mq1dq363Bg1s3wwu1o1_1280F. Scott Fitzgerald with daughter, Scottie, in 1924.


Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about…

Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions


Frances Scott (Scottie) Fitzgerald (October 26, 1921–June 18, 1986), was the only child of F. Scott Fitzgerald of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald of Montgomery, Alabama. She was a writer and journalist (for The New Yorker and The Washington Post, among others), as well as an influential member of the Democratic Party. She died at age 64. In 1992, she was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.

Her father, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote, among other titles, The Great Gatsby, which sells 500,000 copies annually. In 1998 the Modern Library editorial board voted it the best American novel.

Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.