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Book Spine Poetry

The divine Maria Popova of brainpickings.org has been celebrating National Poetry Month with book spine poetry – a form of found poem wherein the author creates poetry using the titles found on the spines of books. I think my favorite of hers (as of the writing of this blog post, she has posted four) is the New York one (her third – punctuation mine):

everything sings
a glorious enterprise –
this is New York.

But it could be argued that her first worked best as a standalone poem:

“I live in the future and here’s how it works
waste and want
in pursuit of the unknown.”

Beautiful, no? I think it’s delightful, and decided to try my own hand at it using books from both work and home. I don’t feel it’s exactly what I wanted, but I enjoyed the process and will likely try again. This one is a poem of love and loss. I call it “Start to Finish”.

“Great expectations;
relationship marketing
among the gently mad
(the rest of us).
Choose me.
The romantic period,
the last lonely Saturday,
Greek tragedies –
the end of the affair.”

The books which contributed to the poem:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Relationship Marketing by Ian H. Gordon
Among the Gently Mad by Nicholas Basbanes
The Rest of Us from Book Industry Study Group
Choose Me by Evelyn Lau
The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Romantic Period
The Last Lonely Saturday by Jordan Crane
Greek Tragedies by Grene and Lattimore
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

It would be wonderful to see/hear attempts from other people. Have you created a book spine poem? Leave the poem (or a link to the photo) in the comments!

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