Saturday, April 27, 2013

For National Poetry Month

It's certainly not your grandma's poetry.  Last week Gill Sotu and a couple of other slam poets performed in my daughter's high school English class, in celebration of National Poetry Month.  The students then attempted to write some slam poetry of their own.  My daughter enjoyed this workshop quite a bit.

National Poetry Month began in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, and is now held every April.  During the month of April, schools, libraries, booksellers, poets, and  bloggers throughout the U.S. celebrate poetry by participating in readings, festivals, workshops, and other events.


All month long, I've noticed numerous posts devoted to poetry and National Poetry Month on various book blogs, including Savvy Verse and Wit and The Parrish Lantern.  This morning, I encountered  book spine poetry on Leslie's blog, Under My Apple Tree, and decided to try "writing" a poem in this way.  The idea is to form a short poem using the titles of books.



I am the messenger
Dancing with gravity
Outside the ordinary world
Perfectly untraditional.


Creating a poem from the titles on book spines was harder than I thought it would be.  At first, I had the idea to use titles from books of poetry, but I found that the ones I had on hand (several chapbooks of poems by Sweta Srivastava Vikram), were too thin to show the titles.  So I decided to use novels instead.  I've read each of the books shown here, and reviewed three of them (I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, Dancing with Gravity by Anene Tressler, and Perfectly Untraditional by Sweta Srivastava Vikram).

Have you been celebrating National Poetry Month? Your comments, especially written as poems, are welcomed.

18 comments:

  1. I like this idea reminds me of the cut up techniques Bowie used on the songs he wrote for some of his greatest albums. In that he'd take what he'd written down in notebooks/journals/song ideas etc and rearrange them in interesting ways creating new to him thought processes and songs. I'm not sure but I have an inkling it was suggested to him by Brian Eno as part of his oblique strategies, altho if I recall correctly William Burroughs also used the technique

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    1. Although I've been a Bowie fan for years, I didn't know about this song writing technique. Thank you for your comment, and for all of your poetry posts. I definitely need to read more poetry!

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  2. not a fan of 'reading' poetry , I do however quite enjoy having it read to me.

    Loving your poem, very clever and what a great idea.

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    1. Thank you, Petty. I think you'd enjoy the work of Gill Sotu, which is poetry performance art.

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  3. Have you read I Am the Messenger yet? I LOVED The Book Thief by this author and really need to read this book as well! I have high expectation for it that is for sure :) You did a really nice job with your poem. The only poems that I've read and enjoyed are by Sylvia Plath. I just don't read a lot of poetry at all. Great post Suko!

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    1. Sam, I've read I Am the Messenger and The Book Thief. Both are excellent books! Plath's poetry is probably pretty dark.

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  4. Book spine poetry is hard but you did a terrific job. That tea looks delicious!

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  5. I really should be celebrating the month with some poetry and posts but it really has snuck up upon me.

    Spine poetry is such a neat idea! I like your poem. The lines really do work together. I read the poem before actually reading how you constructed it and thought that it was great!

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    1. Thank you, Brian. It's an interesting exercise, that makes you look at book titles in a different way.

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  6. Very nice "discovered" poem--it makes one notice the poetry in a good book title.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! You're right, the importance of "naming" a book is highlighted.

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  7. Very nice poem! I enjoyed the Book Spine Poetry Challenge. I'm not much of a poet but sometimes inspiration just 'comes' to me. Once I chose the book that I wanted for the first line, the rest just fell into place!

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  8. What a neat idea! And I like your poem. Very original. It also made me remember that I have I am the Messenger on my bookself and should read it soon.

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  9. Terrific poem Today!

    I enjoyed I Am the Messenger - hope u do as a well. Have a great week.

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  10. I like your book spine poem Suko. As much as I love poetry, I haven't devoted much time to posted about it during April but I have enjoyed reading fellow bloggers poetry related posts. The slam poetry workshop does sound neat.
    What a lovely photo too!

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    1. Naida, I have you to thank for introducing me to poet Pablo Neruda! :)

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  11. I love it! That's a great idea for a poem.

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  12. Great poem! It actually makes sense, and the titles are just lovely. I appreciate a good title almost as much as a beautiful or interesting book cover. :)

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