Group Think

Kimberly Burnham
2 min readApr 20, 2022

Found poetry for April 19, 2022 National Poetry Month Poetry Challenge

“How do the groups you identify with shape your sense of self? Do they influence the beer you buy? The way you vote? Psychologist Jay Van Bavel says our group loyalties affect us more than we realize, and can even shape our basic senses of sight, taste and smell. “ These are the ideas that came out of Hidden Brain’s podcast, “Group Think.”

Here are some poems. The words are ripped from the Hidden Brain transcript.

Shoes can mean membership in a group and cause discrimination poetry by Kimberly Burnham, Photo by Marcus Lewis on Unsplash

Brothers Feuding

In World War II, 1943
one said, “The dirty bastards are back again
war planes bomb
or an insult intended for the other
triggered decades long feud

two brothers
break up their company
on one side of the river
identified with Adi
the other side identified
with the shoe company run by Rudi

The town of bent necks
marriage discouraged with people with the wrong shoes
brothers buried at opposite ends of the town cemetery

Adidas, which was founded by Adi and Puma
two big companies in the world
feud affect psychology of everybody
shoes signal group membership
led to discrimination

Shoes can mean membership in a group and result in discrimination poem by Kimberly Burnham, Photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash

―Found poems / blackout poetry / erasure haikus by Kimberly Burnham from Hidden Brain podcast interview between Shankar Vedantam and Jay Van Bavel https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/group-think/

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Kimberly Burnham

(She/Her) Writer, Poet, currently working on a memoir, Mistaken for a Man, a Story for Anyone Struggling to Feel Comfortable in Their Own Skin, Clothes, & ...