Bookshelf Poems #D’Verse



At D’Verse Pub for poets Björn would have us find a poem in our bookshelves. How cool is that? I look up and see:




a time to dance


spoken revolution

between worlds

the hidden life of trees


Too easy! The stack was right there. (And, yes, I excluded Brown Girl Dreaming from the poem because it didn’t seem to fit. But Jacqueline Woodson’s books are a good fit for a young adult or middle school audience and I highly recommend them and her picture books. Brown Girl Dreaming is autobiographical free verse poems.)

A trip upstairs gives us a poem by the great poet Wendell Berry but from titles of his essays:

IMG_1716.JPGHome Economics

gift of good land

what are people for?

the unsettling of America

It all stands on affection

standing by words

Life is a miracle.


The first stack is uncovered/recovered books found at the “take it or leave it” shelves at the dump before the shelter in place orders. This eclectic pile was taller but I am getting through my finds. Obviously my shelved books are arranged in some sort of order but I enjoyed seeing Wendell Berry’s superb and lyrical essays turned into a poem by collection titles. (His poetry volumes are on the opposite shelf amongst the poetry books.)

You know, maybe I will undo my order, sift and sort through the many titles, arranging and rearranging until a poem emerges— no! If I start it will be a slippery slope of the type secluded people should avoid. But here is this:


Nero fiddles

“A time to dance!”

Unsettled brown girl

standing by words

dreaming of America



between worlds

caged birds sing

spoken revolutions

but everything is broken

It all stands on affection

but everything is broken

The hidden life of trees

harbor prayered wings

nesting, wresting

gifts of good land

insisting through bursting buds

Life is a miracle!

(What are people for?)


28 thoughts on “Bookshelf Poems #D’Verse

  1. Your first choices were strong . I liked “a time to dance quiet”, but the second pull out all the stops poem is very energetic and dazzling, rife with sterling intriguing titles.


    • Thank you. The first two poems are direct unadulterated titles and pretty much as I found them. Then I mixed those two batches of titles together and even separated some then reconfigured with added non-italicized words (not titles, but some allusions) for the third poem.
      I might have broken the rules. It’s because if I start moving books around I will find working from home even more difficult.


  2. I love that you shared your whole process of playing with the titles. Wow. That is inspirational. And your final poem is deliciously timely. Your addition of “Brown Girl Dreaming” made a difference.


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