(C) Cento

A literary collage, or patchwork poem, the cento is a poetic form that is created by combining lines of poetry from one or more poets. The end of the poem The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot can be classified as a cento.

I decided to create a cento using lines of poetry from Tulips by Sylvia Plath and Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson. These poems and tones are so very different from one another, but they are two of my favorite poets. A mix of melancholy and hope…

Hope is the thing with feathers – that perches in the soul –
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in
 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land – and on the strangest sea –
And comes from a country far away as health
 
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
That kept so many warm –
 
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
And never stops – at all –

Read more about the centoSylvia Plath, or Emily Dickinson.

Find out more about poetry a to z.

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