Book spine poem: Memory

A new book spine poem (aka bookmash).



So I am glad our story begins:
Speak, memory, the forgotten language,
Clear the mist in the mirror,
The unreality of memory going dark,
The shadow of the sun across a
Billion years, far from the light
Of heaven.


A stack of 11 books, their spines facing out to form a colourful found poem. The background is white. The authors and titles are as follows: A. L. Kennedy, So I am Glad; Tobias Wolff, Our Story Begins; Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory; Erich Fromm, The Forgotten Language; Nicola Barker, Clear; Susan Hill, The Mist in the Mirror; Elisa Gabbert, The Unreality of Memory; Julia Ebner, Going Dark; Ryszard Kapuściński, The Shadow of the Sun; Robert Silverberg, Across a Billion Years; and Tade Thompson, Far from the Light of Heaven.


Thanks to the authors: A. L. Kennedy, Tobias Wolff, Vladimir Nabokov, Erich Fromm, Nicola Barker, Susan Hill, Elisa Gabbert, Julia Ebner, Ryszard Kapuściński, Robert Silverberg, and Tade Thompson.

A. L. Kennedy’s short story collection Now That You’re Back concluded an early bookmash back in 2011. Nicola Barker has featured in several: her titles lend themselves to this form somehow. (The spine of Clear, above, was spoiled in removing a sticker with some obnoxious glue.)

Though the books’ genres have no bearing on this found poem, I like how they go from literature to essays and journalism (with a detour through psychoanalysis) and end up in science fiction: a trip in its own right.

Have you made a book spine poem yet? Let me know if you join in. For more of mine, see the Sentence first bookmash archive.


6 Responses to Book spine poem: Memory

  1. Rob says:

    I had never heard of bookmashes until I happened across one on this site a few months ago. What a wonderfully creative idea.

    I really like this one: there’s something both radiant and achingly poignant about it.

    • Stan Carey says:

      Thanks very much, Rob. I first encountered the idea from artist Nina Katchadourian. It’s still quite niche.

      I wasn’t sure if this one would end up with an optimistic or a pessimistic tone, and I think it could be read either way.

  2. Love this – you’ve inspired me to work on my own. Just finished reading an excellent history of Irish women’s experience of immigration and crime called Bad Bridgets…I’ve got to fit it in somehow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: