Book Spine Poetry Returns

The literary world continues to revolve, rapidly replacing all in-person events with online ones. On Thursday night I was meant to be in London seeing Anne Tyler. Instead, I spent the evening on Twitter, watching a literary prize announcement, attending two virtual book launches, and (pre)ordering three March releases from my nearest independent bookstore, Hungerford Bookshop. Today I sent the shop owner a long list of book recommendations for the website. I offered remote bibliotherapy for customers and she asked me to add to her curated lists of Long books, Books that are part of a big series, Books to make you laugh, and Books about hope (that last one was really hard). I’m also going to be taking part in two blog tours in early April for novels whose book tours were cancelled. A hint is below.

I’m continuing to read and write to the blog plan I had set up for March into April. What else is there to do? In the meantime, I assembled some titles, mostly from books on my bedside table, into a few impromptu poems. Remember what fun book spine poetry was back in 2016? (My efforts from that short-lived craze are here and here.)

A partial haiku for our times:

 

Plus two more wee poems of hope and lament.

Refuge

The song of the lark,

The nightingale

Abide with me

A sweet, wild note.

 

The Sorrows of an American

News of the world:

My own country,

Red at the bone.

 

I hope you are all staying safe and keeping your spirits up.

What have you been reading that has felt particularly appropriate or comforting?

32 responses

  1. This is a terrific idea. I’m definitely trying this. I’ll report back. Probably on my own blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great fun. Do have a go.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the book poetry! And the new-look blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! A design overhaul was long overdue. I’m not 100% happy with the new one, but I’ll keep tweaking it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Book spine poetry – surprisingly effective! clever lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of the ones I did several years ago are a lot more elaborate and make more sense as poems. These were fairly off-the-cuff, but basically work.

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  4. The partial haiku’s a triumph!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I got the 5-7 and didn’t want to ruin it by adding another line just for the sake of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the book spine poetry, I had a go last time too – loved doing it, didn’t love putting all the books back on the shelves so much – my floor was covered. I’d love to have another go, and keep it short like yours which are super!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why I kept it simple by sticking to the books on my bedside table (apart from Quarantine and Restless, which I got specially from another bookcase) and making the poems short. I remember I had teetering piles of books everywhere the last time I did this.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Book Spine Poetry! I'[ll have to try and devise an Irish themed one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only noticed it was World Poetry Day after I’d posted this and popped over to Twitter!

      Like

  7. Yay! Just considering shuffling my books again, so I may have to have a go at this! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So fun, thanks for sharing. And I love the new blog redesign!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love the spine poetry! I have a really wonderful art book by David Hockney and Martin Gayford that I can’t quite finish at the moment, and am reading a very silly light novel about Cornwall, all I can cope with. I have a lot of work on and poor concentration which is not a good combo! So easy books for a while, I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, whereas I had no work come through last week and really wished I’d had some to take my mind off things! I don’t know if it’s because the company I work for has offices in China and Switzerland and they might be understaffed.

      I might finally try some Wodehouse for a cosy read.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, gosh, sorry to hear that. I have been low on work from some clients but others have loads and have got a new academic client whose interviews are all done so I can type those and she can work on her analysis and all is good. Let me know if you want me to divert anything your way as I’m pretty fully booked for the next few weeks now.

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  10. […] Last time I did this, the whole of my bedroom floor was covered with small piles of books as I built up potential poem fragments – but this was the result – and I was very pleased with it. (Took ages to put all the books back though!) Now Bookish Beck has had another go, and she kept it small this time with some wonderful results here. […]

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  11. Love the book spine poems–what a fantastic idea! Doing mostly distracted reading, so far, this self-imposed quarantine, since I’m also playing teacher to my boys. We’ve decided to try to learn German. Plenty of time! Hope you’re safe and well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must be so tough for parents, trying to homeschool as well as carry on with their normal work — I feel for you all! Great that you are up for taking on a new project in this time. Stay well and I hope you can find ways to enjoy the time at home.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So well-played with The Trick is To Keep Breathing. Brilliant book too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’ve had it out from the university library for ages and keep waiting for the right time to pick it up. No time like the present, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I like the last one in particular–the punctuation is so effective!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Adding punctuation felt slightly like cheating, but I decided to set my own rules 😉

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      1. No, the punctuation feels like the Most Important Bit!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. […] is National Poetry Month and spurred on by a recent post by Bookish Beck, I thought I would indulge in some Book Spine […]

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  15. It sounds like you’re keeping good and busy! I love your poems – the first one is perfect! I just posted some book spine poetry yesterday. I’m glad it’s making a comeback. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yours worked much better as poems 😉 Very impressive!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. […] Poetry Month. I have never made any book spine poetry before, but, inspired by brilliant posts from Rebecca, Cathy and Naomi, I decided to give it a go! The first book in each stack is the […]

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  17. […] other week Rebecca got this started again with her post here, and I responded with a Paul Auster book spine poem here. Then yesterday, Cathy came up with some […]

    Like

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