The hidden poetry in books

I’m finally back home in Auckland, after just over three months of traveling. What better way to settle back, than to pick up the latest dverse challenge, which is to create a found poem out of book titles (spine poetry). Here I present two (one light, one dark) created from my bookshelves – Enjoy!

The Enchanted Wood

Towards another summer
the parrot’s lament
intelligent thought –
questions about angels.

The kingdom of ordinary time –
the fragrant mind
a simples life.

The rainbow
from heaven lake,
nine horses
defying gravity,
the lion and the unicorn
a fine balance.

The universe in a single atom
in your garden.

Authors in order listed: Enid Blyton, Janet Frame, Eugene Linden, John Brockman, Billy Collins, Marie Howe, Valarie Ann Worwood, Aleksandr Orlov, D H Lawrence, Vikram Seth, Billy Collins, Roger McGough, George Orwell, Rohinton Mistry Dalai Lama, Doreen King

Notes from the Underground

The art of drowning
the madwoman in the attic,
a clergyman’s daughter –
girl, interrupted.

Poor people
coming up for air.
The idiot
down and out in Paris and London .
The outsider,
the trial,
the devils –
crime and punishment.

Horoscopes of the dead.

Authors in order listed: Dostoevsky, Billy Collins, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, George Orwell, Susanna Kaysen, Dostoevsky, George Orwell, Dostoevsky, George Orwell, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Dostoevsky, Dostoevsky, Billy Collins.


36 thoughts on “The hidden poetry in books

  1. Well….
    What a collections and your poems do not in the slightest look like publisher-given.
    An exceptional achievement from this restricting prompt.
    Are you off to the States now? Or have I misunderstood?

  2. ha we share some books in common…def billy collins…the use of the animals and building that stanza around them in the first was a really cool touch….ah if only poor could get air, you know….

    welcome back

  3. Good to see you back (I took a little break for a few weeks myself!) Both of these arrangements are excellent–I really enjoyed the universe in a single atom in your garden. Well done!

  4. Wow, these both were worth waiting for. Both poems were different, fascinating in different ways. I loved ‘the universe in a single atom in your garden’ in the first poem & the story so cleverly told in the second. (Welcome back to Auckland. I was there a few days once…beautiful place.)

  5. the parrot’s lament… that sounds like an interesting book..really love what you done with the titles..The idiot
    down and out in Paris and London .
    The outsider,
    the trial,
    the devils -…. fav part…so cool

    • Thanks, Laurie. I was bit late to get to this prompt, but I couldn’t bare to miss it as it was an irresistible challenge (plus I got to meet some of my fav books again).

  6. I really needed The Trial for one of my attempts at this, but alas …

    I really enjoyed both of these; of course, as one who seems to write more on the dark side, the second was a little bit more up my street although Nine Horses Defying Gravity would be something to see … smiles.

    • Ah, where’s Kafka when you need him? There were some titles on my kindle I could have done with, but I opted to keep the spine poetry authentic for the photos.

  7. Oh these are both wonderful. My favorite stanzas are:

    The universe in a single atom
    in your garden.


    Poor people
    coming up for air.
    The idiot
    down and out in Paris and London .
    The outsider,
    the trial,
    the devils –
    crime and punishment.

    I also like that you included the authors’ names. That never occured to me.

  8. Very good pair – light and dark. I have to say I liked the dark one best. Very interesting choice of titles and a nice peek into your library. Glad you are back home safe!

  9. What a fascinating slice of your library you present! If I haven’t read these books, they’re all on my list to get to. And of this, you make the language of the titles your own. importing the atmosphere of the different books, but transmuting it into a new narrative. Well done.

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