Book spine poem: All the Pieces Matter

If you’re lucky enough to have books and time at hand, here’s something fun you can do in lockdown: book spine poetry.


All the Pieces Matter

I choose to live
a life in parts –
insects’ flight
from dream to dream,
through the woods
beyond the sea.
I only say this
because I love you:
All the pieces


Against a white background stands a stack of books, their spines facing the viewer and creating a found poem as quoted in the post.

Thanks to the authors and editors: Sabine Dardenne, Bryan Cranston, Bob Gibbons, Oona Frawley, Alannah Robins, Emily Carroll, Paul Lynch, Deborah Tannen, and Jonathan Abrams; and to Nina Katchadourian.

From Dream to Dream is a book I copy-edited last year published by my friends at Artisan House in Connemara. Flight was the first publication from the wonderful Irish indie Tramp Press, who’ve featured on Sentence first a few times. Deborah Tannen has also appeared here before, including in an earlier book spine poem about language.

Let me know if you join in the game.


19 Responses to Book spine poem: All the Pieces Matter

  1. stuartnz says:

    Wow! I’ve long been impressed by your gift for this art form, but this one is a new favourite, thank you for sharing!

  2. My Kindle just doesn’t have the same poetic structure :)

    I moved to ebooks when turning the pages of a book was triggering carpel tunnel pain, and I’ve never looked back. I do also love being able to click on a word and have an instant dictionary. I would miss that feature as I find it so interesting to read about words that are new to me.

    • Stan Carey says:

      I’m sorry to hear about the carpal tunnel – a painful condition. When I read an unfamiliar word, I like to look it up in multiple dictionaries, and it’s no great hardship to take a few moments rather than an instant. =)

  3. Lisa Wasserman says:

    I always like the book spine poems, but this one is especially lovely.

  4. An especially good one!

  5. SHERRY ROTH says:

    AMAZING! one of the best so far.
    Stay fabulous ♥

  6. Manuel Barroso says:

    Hi, I’m Manuel, a Spanish translator, and I’m just after knowing about your blog through your post on the “after perfect”, and it I love it! I’m going try and post my own book spine poem. Thank you!

  7. maceochi says:

    Thanks for the book spine poem Stan. I think they’re always thought-provoking. I made one of my own in Tuscany a couple of years ago. Must try and dig the photo out!

  8. Edward Barrett says:


  9. Another excellent book spine mashup!

  10. […] All the Pieces Matter featured in a book spine poem I made last year. I didn’t want to read the book before revisiting The Wire; now I’m […]

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