ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poetic Form: The Cento

Updated on October 5, 2012
Storytellersrus
Storytellersrus | Source
Blake4d
Blake4d
Tattookitty
Tattookitty | Source
The Suburban Poet
The Suburban Poet | Source
Twilight Lawns
Twilight Lawns | Source
Always Exploring
Always Exploring | Source
Petra Vlah
Petra Vlah | Source
juneaukid
juneaukid | Source
QudsiaP1
QudsiaP1 | Source
ExoticHippieQueen
ExoticHippieQueen | Source
Tony DeLorger
Tony DeLorger | Source
Frieda Babbley
Frieda Babbley | Source
Randy Behavior
Randy Behavior | Source
saddlerider1
saddlerider1 | Source
kimberlyslyrics
kimberlyslyrics
Raven
Raven | Source
missolive
missolive | Source

Weather You or Me


Dark, moist months I spent

Sliding my way along balance beams

You were made of white lace

Gazing in a fancy store-front window


Blowing in a moist, early evening breeze

An avalanche of colors

Took over my life

Devouring tears


I stood in windblown heather

To wrap you in a filament of words, and doing this

Each wiggle tangling me further

Exploded the night into existence


Our souls collide

You are like a mist flowing through me

I tremble in the darkness

The dreadful sweet song

Sweet grass softly moaning in my arms


I pull the scent of you deep into my lungs

You love that I was acting like an animal

And hold my fragrance in your hand

Wanting me in a horizontal way


Feel my skin, smell and taste a part of my heart

Salty sweat covers my body, it is yours, mine, ours

I taste colors spilling out of fractals from my sweaty hands


Staring out into a vast Irish space

Looking through the kaleidoscope

Scanning the horizon for collections

Of euphoric joy and anguished grief


Erosion takes place within my bones

In my dreams marked dead on a tree

I was dreaming of the darkness

Sweet agony this, too long

I was an amusement park


I mirror your reflection now

In my morning coffee

When thoughts of returning home

Slowly drift and creep

Hoping to see a familiar face


A cento is a poem made up of lines from other poet's poems. I asked a few Hubbers and one other poet if they would mind if I used lines from their poems. They agreed, and so the poem was made possible. A word in each line of my cento links back to their original work, and the contributing poets are shown at right.

I found this form very challenging. It is an attempt to unify fragments of disparate styles and points of view into a coherent whole. I did my best to do right by these fine poets. I give my thanks to them for making this poem possible and for providing such reading pleasure as I hunted for lines.

Thanks again to the poets.



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Xenonlit profile image

      Xenonlit 

      6 years ago

      What a unique poetic style. This was a lovely result, too.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Ah, Storyteller, I rarely write a poem three minutes long. But I love going and listening to the slams. I love reading at open mike, too. This poem has had a very nice effect. Thank you!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      "Hoping to see a familiar face". Another x-rated poem? Is this also Ravens?

      I appreciate what you have done here, Tom. I discovered poets with voices relating experiences I understand, while others transported me where I have never been. I learned fresh approaches to poetry and what poetry might become.

      I wonder how your poetry slams are progressing. Some of these hard hitting poems would have done well, if my memory holds.

      Thanks again for doing the work. I feel humbled, yet motivated.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Glad you're back! Yes, Raven's site has a warning on it. It's rated kind of PG-13 I think.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      fyi, when I click on horizon, I am sent to a Blogger warning spot...

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Back again. It's been a very long weekend.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Qudsia! Thanks again for letting me use lines from your work. I noticed when I was on earlier that you were visiting poets from the cento and commenting. That is truly wonderful, and that was exactly why I composed this poem.

      I only scratched the surface of the poetry here on HP, Ruby. There are so many good poets. I always say, poets are the best audience for poetry. Here on HP, there is already a sense of community between poets. I hope this cento reinforces and encourages that sense of community.

    • ragnarsj profile image

      ragnarsj 

      6 years ago from Faroe Islands

      Well done! :-)

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 

      6 years ago

      Thank you Tom for writing this Cento, I read so many wonderful poets and their works just because of this. I feel deeply honoured and you are very talented.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Tom, I had to come back to thank you for introducing me to all of these really talented poets. I've had the pleasure of reading some and i will certainly read them all. I Dearly love this Hubville community..Cheers

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 

      6 years ago

      Wonderfully done Tom! Thank you for introducing me to all these lovely poets and their wonderful works. I feel particularly honoured. Thank you. :)

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      It was a fun project, but hard work, too, Susan! Thank you.

      Thanks, RedElf!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      6 years ago from Canada

      You have certainly created a thought-provoking work, Tom. Kudos!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What an interesting an unique way to write a poem. Unique to me as I've never seen this done before.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Raven, for your praise and for allowing me to use lines from your work.

    • profile image

      Ann 

      6 years ago

      Fluid and well written, Deep shadowy depths and a great poem Tom! :)

      http://ravensartshack.blogspot.com/2011/10/torque-...

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      I'm very much honored by your (and all the poets') approval. I am glad you enjoyed it. The best part was reading you and all the rest. Thank you!

    • TattooKitty profile image

      TattooKitty 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      You rocked the form to perfection! I'm so honored to have been able to be a part of your elaborate, elegant, and entertaining poem! Outstanding job, Tom!! :)

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks again Storyteller. That was the idea - to tighten up the HP poet community with a little TLC. I am so pleased it worked, and I hope everyone who reads the poem clicks the links and meets all the poets.

      Thank you, Anginwu!

      Thank you so much, Kim. Your work presented may rich opportunities for me to choose from to help me complete the cento. Thank you for promoting it, too! :)

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 

      6 years ago

      Tom I'm putting this on my blog and profile!

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 

      6 years ago

      Tom, whew thought I was last for a minute! Not that it's important or anything nor being first would have been critical to my self esteem either OMG ha

      Dude this is just an awesome concept, really entwines pieces of the community together on many levels, honours fellow writers, is pleasing to read and as far as a hub beautifully laid out!

      You went over the top with this one my friend and thank you for thinking of me [think first picture lol]

      I love these other writers also

      Thank you Tom for an original and inspiring piece!

      Be cool

      Kimberly

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      6 years ago

      Very cool idea and it flows so well, even though it's taken from so many poems. Lovely.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I have a couple of those dolls which I bought in the market square in Kharkov, The Ukrains, Storytellersrus.

      They are called "Metrushka" there. All hand made and they fit together so sweetly that unless one knew...

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Tom, I keep appearing in your comments because there is more to say. This hub is like one of those Russian nesting dolls- there is so much more inside than initially meets the eye. I have discovered eleven new poems and nearly as many new poets, as I click on each link. I feel such gratitude; you have done more than write a Cento. You are promoting poetry and poets and generating thought processes that might lie dormant. You are introducing people in this gathering place, generating warmth and light. I cannot thank you enough. I look forward to discovering more poetic links tomorrow.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Back again to read more poetry. I believe November will be my Month of the Poet rather than Month of the Novel.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you, JK. Your great descriptions of place were very welcome additions to the poem.

      Thank you for being included, Storyteller! I had great stuff to work with.

      Suburban Poet, it was the most elusive poem I've worked on this month, but very satisfying to complete. . Thank you so much.

    • The Suburban Poet profile image

      Mark Lecuona 

      6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @Tom - Thank you so much for including me with this group of great writers. I'm very humbled and yet extremely gratified by this. It makes it all worth while. It's truly an honor. This looks like it took some work for sure! Great job!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      tom, you sneaky fellow! Now I have to come back to this hub and back again, until I have linked every poet with every linked line. (Which will, I admit, be a cozy pleasure.)

      When you told me what you planned to do, I never envisioned such honed magnificence. Truly! I am humbled to be a simple stitch among the golden threads that shaped your patchwork quilt. Thanks so much for including me.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      A fascinating experiment and I congratulate you for your noble effort to bring this cento into fruition.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Randy, for that lovely mental picture :) and thank you for your help on this project.

      Thanks, Jeriliee! I may be mistaken, but I thought that in mosaic poetry the poets are more in control where their line is placed, whereas composite verse is poetry that incorporates very different kinds of poetry in the same poem - free verse and iambic pentameter, or rhyming and prose. But since I have not researched either one, I am not completely sure. On the surface, they sound like they could be the same as a cento.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      6 years ago from United States

      Very enjoyable! I think you did a terrific job of bringing it all together. How does this differ from the poetic form called Mosaic or Composite Verse? Or is it the same?

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 

      6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      My favorite part of this is being sandwiched between so many wonderful poets!

      This is not an easy undertaking Tom, snaps of fingers and gold stars to you.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Ah, "my" poetry :) But it is all yours! I am so happy you all approve. I felt the pressure a surgeon must feel. A poet's poetry is a sacred thing.

      Before I forget, special thanks to Randy Behavior for her editing help.

      Thank you all once again for agreeing to let me use your work. It was quite an adventure!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a pleasant surprise! This is so unigue and cleverly done. Your poetry is beautiful. Thank you for including me. Cheers

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 

      6 years ago

      What an intriguing piece, Tom! Just chock full of delicious imagery, it draws your eyes to the next line at lightning speed. I just love it. You did an amazing job, and I am honored that you included me in this talented group! Thank you!

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 

      6 years ago

      I am humbled to be given space amongst these fine poets in this masterful bold approach to The Cento. Bravo, I applaud you and I thank you sir.

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Absolute perfection. Beautiful, soulful, lovely. Sigh. I'm sharing all over the place, Tom!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      You did it! What an amazing job. The interesting thing was I kept getting the "I've heard this before" feeling as I read it. After looking at the various original authors I realized I had read many of their respective poems. I'm glad I agreed to be a part of this. You are a master - congratulations and thank you for the invite.

      Bookmarking - Voted up and across - sharing too! :)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Brave man, Tom. And it worked. Lovely.

      Ian

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 

      6 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      Great Idea, and a great poem as well.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 

      6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      I love it; a cool idea and well exicuted.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)