Friday, July 27, 2012

Bookspine Poetry

The folks at Tweetspeak Poetry and Brainpickings issued a challenge to create poems using titles from your bookshelf . The exercise had me scouring my shelves and then the library when my selections fell short . Given how much thought goes into choosing a phrase that summarizes an entire book , titles provide a glorious resevoir of words . It's more difficult to find titles with verbs .

Much to my surprise , I found that a cohesive poem could be made from an author salad that mixed Dickens , Poe , Wharton and C.S. Lewis with newbies like James Patterson , Wally Lamb and James Frey. It was a delight to make room for one of my favorite current authors , Leonard Sweet . His title , Strong in the Broken Places , could be a life motto (or might read well on a tombstone , hmm , I'll ponder that) . Thanks, Tweetspeak! I haven't had this much fun in a long time.

A Grief Observed

bleak house born of silence
the age of innocence
a heart of darkness
  spectacular sins
    a plague of secrets

now you see her
a descent into the maelstrom
avowals and denials
  she's come undone
    a million little pieces

now you see her
up from the blue
choosing to see
  a distant memory
    the wolf at the door

now you see her
bring up the bodies
salvage the bones
strong in the broken places
fly away home

Title authors:

C.S. Lewis

Charles Dickens/Sherrilyn Kenyon
Edith Wharton
Joseph Conrad
John Piper
John Lescroat

James Patterson
Edgar Allen Poe
G. K. Chesterton
Wally Lamb
James Frey

James Patterson
Susan Henderson
Marybeth Chapman
Traci Depree
Jack Higgins

James Patterson
Hilary Mantel
Jesmyn Ward
Leonard Sweet
Jennifer Weiner

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