Being There (between the covers)


Being There  (between the covers)

Oh, the places you’ll go–
the odyssey
through the looking glass,
the voyage out
to the lighthouse–

Everything is illuminated,
darkness visible–
the red and the black,
the wind in the willows,
the shining
leaves of grass,

Goodnight moon.
Far from the madding crowd,
the sun also rises,
pale fire.


Okay, I’m not sure what it means either, but here is a “spine poem,” written for Samuel Peralta’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub.  It also happens to be exactly 55 words.  So go tell the G-Man!

For those who may not know, a spine poem is poem “found” in the titles of books.  There should be a photo of all the books. I’ve been traveling tonight and had to come up with books that I know I own in one form or another.  I just could not get a photograph of spines together. (And I’m sorry this pic also doesn’t really suit the poem!  Tired!)

  The titles in the order of appearance are by Jerzy Kosinski, Dr. Seuss, Homer, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf, Jonathan Safran Foer, William Styron, Stendhal, Kenneth Grahame, Stephen King, Walt Whitman, Margaret Wise Brown, Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway and Vladimir Nabokov.

I am still very uncertain of the poem’s title–if not the books’ titles–I may change when not trying to fit into 55 words.  (Hint hint Galen!)   Actually –I’ve edited this since posting. I meant “between” the covers, but put “under the covers!”


Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

44 Comments on “Being There (between the covers)”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Hey…. and this works… and from your memory! I am impressed.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Well, thanks. I think it is quite a bit easier to do from memory than to ferret around with books, though on my behalf many of mine are still in boxes from moving. Thanks Margaret. k.

  2. claudia Says:

    oh you had me with the voyage out to the lighthouse already…love lighthouses…always wanted to live in one when i was little… also the Goodnight moon.
    Far from the madding crowd… sounds peaceful you know…

  3. Mary Says:

    Very nice, Karin. I like especially the final stanza…which says to me that though we say good night to the moon we are always ready to welcome the sun the following morning! The cycle of life.

  4. Ella Says:

    Oh, I love yours! Through the Looking Glass really gave it that zing 😀

  5. shanyns Says:

    Totally cool! I love it!

  6. Oh, this is brill! Especially appreciated “the shining/leaves of grass,” since the two are worlds apart in nature but kindred spirits in title! This is a great prompt by Sam. And hooray for 55!! Amy

  7. Kay Davies Says:

    Way to go, Karin. Produced under stress and duress, and coming out wonderfully well.

  8. Akila Says:

    journeyed well! 🙂 interesting!

  9. bloomnpsycho Says:

    It makes me think of voyaging through books.
    When I was younger, I was an avid reader. It’s hard for me to keep my attention focused for long enough to be any more. When I’m not falling asleep, I’m just plain distracted.

  10. Jamie Dedes Says:

    I like it. Has the effect of a walk along the bookcase remembering all the good reads.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, it’s funny. It didn’t start out that way at all–more about sort of night ramble, but the titles were so famous that it moved into that direction. k.

  11. Gabriella Says:

    A very effective combination Karin! All three stanzas are meaningful. A lot of the titles you chose are books that I own and have read. And I also used Hardy’s title in my own piece.

  12. brian miller Says:

    smiles….i like the last…the goodnight moon….far from the crowd the sun also rises stanza…it has an interesting contrast for me….and cool to see seuss in there as well…smiles.

  13. nico Says:

    I love the theme of light that radiates through this selection–very well done!

  14. Nicely done . . . love the range of titles used.

  15. This is brilliant… (but I miss the elephants)… especially liked weaving in leaves of grass and through the looking glass.

  16. The sun also rises, pale fire- is so lovely. As is that everything is illuminated…

  17. hedgewitch Says:

    A very adroit and pleasing combination, and each title does ‘speak’ into the poem, making an effective whole greater than the sum of parts. I doubt I would get this far working from memory!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks. It truly was easier. I just jotted down good titles that came to mind–mainly books I liked–but it’s not hard to make a list of books that have particularly poetic titles. I felt a bit sorry not to be able to use something from Wolfe as they have such great titles, and Joyce Carol Oates is pretty good–though not a favorite writer, but decided if I was going to not use a pic, I should try to use titles people would recognize (more or less.) I don’t know about the Safran Foer and Styron–but those are both great books with great titles. k.

  18. janehewey Says:

    what continues to surprise me while reading these spine poems is that the poets voice usually comes through. especially, with yours, the second stanza. Your play with light and darkness is clever and clear. I do love the quiet effect of your final stanza. wonderfully composed. I hope your weekend allows you time to rest. ~jane

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, I almost only did the second stanza but I really liked the idea of the odyssey through the looking glass so couldn’t resist enlarging it. I’m not sure that I made it better – maybe better as a shorter poem with a narrowed focus. k.

  19. BEAUTIFUL! I love it!

  20. Made perfect sense to me. 🙂 Peace, Linda

  21. Truedessa Says:


    I think you did a great job and I really enjoyed the flow of’s amazing how we can turn these into cool poetry.

  22. Tony Maude Says:

    It’s great to see some titles I recognise … smiles. There seem to be quite a few dVerse poets with their books in boxes just now; you did well to remember enough strong titles to get your 55 words for the G-man.

  23. Linc Says:

    The spine poems are really quite catchy. I love how yours fit together!

  24. othermary Says:

    Oh! Great titles that make up a great poem!

  25. Outstanding connections, fairytale, legends, epics strung together perfectly ! Loved it! Faithfully Debbie

  26. I call your poem “Go with the Flow”. In the same way sometimes one’s eyes wanders around the bookshelf and one goes with whatever you’re feeling in that moment. That’s how I read your poem and I loved it. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  27. G-Man Says:

    Loved your book shelf Karin.
    Thomas Hardy? Yeah me too…:P I guess we all need a little Pessimistic Fatalism now and then.
    Thanks for your very cool 55
    You ALWAYS Rock!!!
    Have a kick Ass Week-End

  28. ds Says:

    I love it! You have the perfect bookshelf (from which you’ve created the perfect poem). Thank you.

  29. This is absolutely glorious! The poem, the composition, the titles that reflect the books drawn within your reach – and thus the very thing that makes you what you are – glorious! And, not only that, you’ve made the poem – a book spine poem – a self-referential composition about books, about reading itself. Glorious! A poem I wish I’d written.

  30. grapeling Says:

    Smoking, Karin! ~ M

  31. Very nice, I agree that it is a poem that well utilizes your voice. A great technique to asemble titles as well.

I'd love to hear from you!

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: