Thursday, July 9, 2009

Poetry Formats-Cento

so, i'm taking this month long poetry workshop facilitated by a graduate student from Northwestern that is exploring different poetry formats, something i've long wanted to learn. this is only my 2nd ever poetry class and i'm already learning. i knew about 'found poetry' but had no idea what a true Cento was. a Cento is made up COMPLETELY of other poets words. each line is taken from a different poet and compiled to make something new. here is my Cento:

Bedlam—A Cento
Donna Kiser

Don’t hurry, a secret voice whispered to me.

It doesn’t matter what people say and do;
The crowd has come to see our minds contort.

Beneath the blow of cardboard machetes,
Somewhere on windswept prairies of America
Headstones with words, “ I watched clouds.”

Only women dance barefoot,
Stepping stones at odd intervals
Of iron through the iron edge.
The world rusts around us,
Whistling thinly under the wind vents.

A scream like an old knife sharpened into nothing
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right
With a hysterical, unmarried panic.
This is the house of bedlam,
Ghost-gray. Last night’s cold
Coming about its own business.

I look feelingly into the future