Below you’ll find a short Cento I’ve created and the source for each line of poem.
* * * *
Down at the water’s edge, at the place, (Bishop)
I dream no more but stare at a hole. (Garrigue)
I’ve spent the last days, furthermore, (Merrill)
surprised at the earth. (Merwin)
I am alive – I guess. (Dickinson)
* * * * *
Line 1 – Elizabeth Bishop » At the Fishhouses
Line 2 – Jean Garrigue » Dialog
Line 3 – James Merrill » Lost in Translation
Line 4 – W.S. Merwin » For the Anniversary of My Death
Line 5 – Emily Dickinson » I am alive – I guess
* * * * *
- Make the writing project more challenging:
- Make your poem rhyme
- Make your poem longer than ten lines
- Make sure there is a nice rhythm
- Make tenses agree
- Make sure the poem is written all in first person or third person
- Give credit to the poets. Include their name next to the line quoted.
Do you like learning about different forms of poetry? Take a look at Tanka – 31 Syllable Poems.