experimental poetry

Book Spine Poetry by daintydora

Next month is NaPoWriMo - National Poetry Writing Month - and I've been neglecting the poetic form for too long. I love all the experimental methods of finding new ways to connect words and make language interesting, so when I read about the art of 'Book Spine Poetry' recently on Brain Pickings, I knew I had to try it for myself.

Book Spine Poetry literally means to use the title on the spine of a book as a line of a poem. So simple yet so clever.

And it makes me feel a lot less guilty about my Tsundoku habit. I have plenty of fodder to work with.

Inspired by the art of Nina Katchadourian, and also the experiments of Maria Popova herself, author of Brain Pickings, I decided to have a go.

Here's what I came up with after a 5-minute bookshelf grab:

Book Spine Poetry, inspired by Nina Katchadourian

Primrose Hill

Summer of Love.

London Calling:

The Secret History

Book Spine Poetry, inspired by Nina Katchadourian

She Came to Stay -

The Black Dahlia

D.I.Y Magic

Book Spine Poetry, inspired by Nina Katchadourian

White Teeth

In Cold Blood:

The One That Got Away

So much fun!

I'll definitely experiment further with this technique using more of the books that are waiting patiently to be read on my burgeoning shelves (thanks Nina), and I'll finish with this quote:

I am always paying attention to the physical qualities of the books, and I try to work with their particular attributes as much as possible. The size of a book carries temperament and tonality, as does the way the text sits on the spine. A heavy volume with large text on the spine, for example, might be exuberant, urgent, pushy; a small typeface might communicate a voice that’s exacting, shy, insecure, or furtive.

Nina Katchadourian

You can sign up to receive free daily poetry prompts from The Poetry School throughout April. I'm thinking Book Spine Poetry might be a good way to go!

'Found Poetry' from Linux Magazine by daintydora

Found it in my notepad... Found Poetry is such an interesting subject and a clever, accessible intro to the world of poetry (which can sometimes seem an elitist club for the few who can master Haiku and Pantoums and the inexplicable ins and outs of rhythm, rhyme, assonance, alliteration and allegory...)

The concept was first introduced to me when doing an online evening class in Creative Writing at Strathclyde university.

The idea is to pick words/phrases at random from a magazine or written text you wouldn't normally read (or a street sign, flyer, noticeboard - whatever), and rework them into something resembling a poem, all without thinking too much about it.

You can draw a shape like a circle onto the page and decide to only use the words inside that shape, or 'take a line for a walk' and use the words where the line intersects. You might add the rule that you have to use all the words or that you can't add or remove any words. It's an experiment. Your experiment.

It's the 'freeing up' of the mind that is the focus, the process, rather than the end result, though the end result can actually be rather interesting in itself.

Here's my attempt using a page of terms from the computing magazine Linux User & Developer:

The Back-Up
The back-up.
It’s exactly unclear. Rubbish!
Two connections I have witnessed:
Reboot. Gesture. Reboot.
Unclear? Exactly.
Make voice calls. Gesture. Reboot.
The foot won.
I have witnessed the back-up.
Two connections made me think:
it’s exactly unclear.
The back-up.