Some days when you wake up, it’s raining and you’re out of coffee (or tea, in my case). Sometimes the alarm doesn’t go off and you dash into your car a half-hour late. By the time you return home, you’re wet, hungry, and you have a wicked headache from caffeine deprivation. This is the kind of day when writing anything seems impossible. This is a cento day.
According to Poets.org, the definition of a cento is:
|From the Latin word for “patchwork,” the cento is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources. Early examples can be found in the work of Homer and Virgil.|
For the complete page on centos, go here: Poetic Form: Cento.
So, since the forecast here is calling for rain at least through Thursday, it looks like tomorrow and the day after will be a cento day, too. Your poem spark mission for this week: write a cento. Don’t stress-out. Feel free to mix up the lines with some of your own. Feel free to use just the end-of-line words from another poem for yours. Feel free to use just a title. It’s difficult to light a candle in the rain, but with the right spark, anything is possible.
If you’re looking for poems to steal (uh, I mean borrow) from, here are a few favorites:
Eleanor Wilner Moon Gathering
Anzhelina Polonskaya Sky
Stanley Kunitz The Portrait
Jane Hirshfield A Hand