This weekend, I was scanning my shelves looking for a book when I came across two titles side by side that formed a sentence. I thought, Ha ha! That’s funny! Then I thought, Hmm… Then I thought, I love books, I love poems, and I love found poetry, so… Suddenly, it became clear to me that I needed to combine these loves. Five minutes later, my house looked like this:
The rules were:
#1 – I could only use titles of books I actually have in the house.
#2 – I could only use each book once. (I think I broke this rule a couple of times.)
#3 – I could not add any words to the poems. What you see in the titles is what you get.
These are the 10 best book title found poems that I came up with from the books in my house. (They are in no particular order, but my favorites are #3 and #10.) I’ve typed them up to make them easier to read and to add spacing and punctuation but, true to Rule #3, I have not added any words.
Some are silly, some serious, some a little bit creepy. I hope you enjoy them.
1. “Tales From the Teacher’s Lounge”
“Tales From the Teacher’s Lounge”
not quite what I was planning…
I am the cheese going, going
out of my mind—
a confederacy of dunces.
I was told there’d be cake.
2. “Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac”
“Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac”
As I walked out one evening
my thirteenth winter,
I heard the owl call my name…
I never saw another butterfly.
3. “Once Upon a More Enlightened Time”
Once upon a more enlightened time,
the wizard, the witch, & two girls from Jersey
go and come back,
longing for a kiss,
hugging the jukebox,
tap dancing on the roof.
It all changed in an instant
on the road dark and dangerous.
The things they carried
4. “What Have You Lost?”
“What Have You Lost?”
Fear of flying off the road,
the flag of childhood,
sixth grade secrets,
the place my words are looking for,
the pleasure of my company…
half a life.
5. “The Teacher’s Funeral”
“The Teacher’s Funeral”
The handbook of heartbreak,
horoscopes for the dead.
We the living speak
words under the words,
truth and beauty,
tears of a tiger
salting the ocean.
The only boy in ballet class,
6. “Something’s Brewing”
Something wicked this way comes,
a lantern in her hand.
A monster calls
from the dust returned,
“All that lives must die.”
The witch’s face—
sailing alone around the room.
The death catchers
7. “Vegetables and Other Relationships”
“Vegetables and Other Relationships”
Good omens: I feel a little jumpy around you.
Love is a mix tape—
truth and beauty, forever.
It all changed in an instant.
I’ll ask you three times, are you OK?
I can’t keep my own secrets.
Quicker than the eye, things fall apart.
Let’s pretend this never happened.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
8. “Thirteen Reasons Why the Chickens are Restless”
“Thirteen Reasons Why the Chickens are Restless”
(1) Picnic, (2) Lightning,
(3) Drums, (4) Girls, & (5) Dangerous pie.
(6) The sound of water,
(7) Daisy Fay & (8) The miracle man.
(9) THIS SAME SKY.
(10) The snows of Kilimanjaro, (11) The bean trees,
(12)The old man & (13) The sea.
9. “I Have Lived a Thousand Years”
“I Have Lived a Thousand Years”
I have lived a thousand years,
there is no long distance now.
This I believe:
trouble don’t last.
Come with me
in the kingdom of birds
before I die.
A maze me.
Call it courage.
“Are you there God?
It’s me, Margaret.”
“How did you get this number?”
* * * * *
What poems are lurking in your bookshelves waiting to be found?
I’d love to see some of your creations in the comments!
* Click here for more of my book title poems. *