Book Spine Poetry, Vol. 1: “The Trouble with Poetry”

Inspired by Brain Pickings’ book spine poetry–a recent tribute to National Poetry Month–I decided to draw from my own bookshelf and try my hand at the form:

The trouble with poetry:
The innocent wit,
The edge of reason,
The fact of a doorframe.

The Trouble with Poetry: and other poems by Billy Collins

The Innocent: A Novel by Ian McEwan

Wit: A Play by Margaret Edson

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems 1950-2001 by Adrienne Rich

For even more interesting results, disorganize your local library a la Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project. The project follows the same process, but takes place in a different library for every entry. Katchadourian sums up its aims:

The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collections… Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library’s focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library’s holdings.

Look out for more volumes soon. In the meantime, feel free to post links to your own forays into book spine poetry below.


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