27 August, 2013

Book Spine Poems

Last week, I got happily distracted from my writing by looking at the Twitter entries into the Waterstones Gravity Spine Poem competition. I won't go into details of the competition as you can read about here, but I wanted to share the concept with you.

Spine Poems are poems written by stacking books you own so that when you read the titles they form a story. This isn't a new idea - I've seen a few friends post pictures of their poems on Twitter in the past - but it's a rather charming one. I'm no poet, but when I saw the great work going on, I decided to have a go, and it seemed to me that "poem" was quite a loose term here - some entries were highly poetic, others just told a story in a way that may or may not be thought of as poetry. I think my attempts definitely fall into this latter category!

I had so much fun I intend to "write" some more spine poems soon, but for now, here are my first attempts at poems/stories.

1) The Human Story.


2) Love.


3) Not so much a poem as a piece of flippancy.


Have you ever tried this? Give it a go and let me know what stories you can create from your books either by commenting below or e-mailing me a photograph (see About Me page for contact details). I might do a little series of spine poems and I am happy to include other people's creations (with links to their blogs) as well as my own.

10 comments:

  1. I've never seen this before. What a fun idea though. I might have to look around at my books and see what I can come up with.

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  2. I've not seen this before either, but from now on, whenever I see a stack of books anywhere, I'll be checking to see what the spine poem says!

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    1. I bet with your horror/sci-fi collection you could make up some pretty spine-tingling (ahem) ones!

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  3. What a beautifully quirky idea and a reminder that poetry is in the eye of the beholder. It's the literary cousin of 'seeing shapes in clouds'.

    And, at the risk of lowering the tone, I'm reminded of that brief trend in supermarkets where some people would rearrange the herbs and spices on the shelves - the ones with a large letter - to spell out rude words.
    http://metro.co.uk/2011/03/22/rude-herb-facebook-crew-terrorise-asda-tesco-and-morrisons-supermarket-aisles-646017/

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    1. Yup, definitely lowered the tone. And I love it.

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    2. The ability to see the extraordinary in the mundane is, in itself, an act of creativity.

      By the way, have you seen these faces in objects?

      http://twistedsifter.com/2013/05/50-faces-in-everyday-places/

      Number 16 made me laugh out loud.

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    3. They are brilliant! Several of them made me laugh out loud.

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  4. I love this idea! Trouble is, my predilection for non-fiction over fiction means I was working with scant resources to come up with my own offering. History and biography titles don't lend themselves so well to creating poetry!

    Anyway, it's on my blog: http://ramblesofawriter.wordpress.com/

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    1. I liked it - despite the shameless self-promotion of your own book ;) My predilection for non-fiction actually helps sometimes with this as I have a lot of science books with cool titles.

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