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Bee’s Knees: Spine Poems

Comics Spine Poem

Spine Poems ~ Hello, and welcome to the Bee’s Knees, the weekly column focusing on some of the many creative ways words and pictures can be combined! I would like to begin this week by sharing a poem: As the mountain fell / Their eyes were watching God / A delicate fade / On the way to Bethlehem / A farewell to arms / Out of ashes.

Chances are, you can place at least one of those lines as the title of a book. The truth is, that poem is composed entirely of book titles, and there are many like it. Spine poems, as they are most commonly known as, are creative poems made from stacking one book on top of another.

Spine PoemIt’s an easy enough technique, and anyone with an access to a bookshelf or library can mess around with them. Already there are contests for good spine poems and websites that feature some of the better ones out there. It doesn’t matter what the books are about, though it always helps to have a readable print on the edge. Spine poems are fun to read and also make for great decorations—not to mention how much more fun it is to arrange books poetically than alphabetically. For fans of the latest and greatest technology, an app has been released for iPhones and iPads called “Spine Sonnet.” At random, it picks fourteen titles at a time and slaps them together in an on-demand spine poem, though it generally won’t make as much sense as other spine poems.

And that’s the bee’s knees for this week! Please join me next Friday for another way people blend words and pictures to create all-new forms of art. In the meantime, feel free to tell me if there’s something you know of I should write about. I love finding out about new things!

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