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Jim Moonan 08-02-2018 06:46 AM

Graphic Poetry: Bookshelf
I hope this is appropriate for placement here as visual art. Brian Bilston is a three dimensional poet.

This piece is doing so much for the eye, the ear and the imagination. For starters, the only way to read this poem is as if you are perusing a bookshelf...

Go ahead. Cock your head. Take a look.

John Isbell 08-02-2018 07:30 AM

Hi Jim,

Thanks for sharing! That was fun. I like the books jammed in the side in the final column.


Andrew Szilvasy 08-02-2018 08:13 AM


I saw it on Twitter and enjoyed it. I was mostly mad that I hadn't thought of it first. The last stanza (?) is interesting in the ways it recreates the chaos of books. I think he makes two mistakes that a later poet can improve upon. (1) I think it would be more compelling if the book titles were real book titles; (2) I think the books wedged in should have had real names, not "wedged" etc.

Still, it's a cool idea and well executed.

Jim Moonan 08-02-2018 08:19 AM

I had you in mind when I first read this Andrew. You've said (in so many words) how much books -- real books -- are a part of your identity.

I think you're right about the things still left to do to make this concept more compelling.That poem will be yours.

Martin Elster 08-02-2018 09:12 PM

Concrete poems combine poetry with visual art, though most seem more or less gimmicky to me. But this one was quite fun to read and look at. Thanks, Jim, for posting it. I’ve seen other poems by Brian Bilston (though not lately). He is quite clever. The most amazing one I saw was a poem that could be read both down the page and up the page, and had a different meaning with each. It’s entitled “Refugees.” I bet you’ve seen it.

Jim Moonan 08-03-2018 07:23 AM

Yes, I don't like the gimmicky creations. The poetry must be good. The format/design is for enhancement only. This one is a "textbook"example.

I do know his poem Refugees. It should be required reading. Especially for middle/high school.

Martin Elster 08-03-2018 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Moonan (Post 422713)
I do know his poem Refugees. It should be required reading. Especially for middle/high school.

I agree with you.

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