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Prompt #53 Directed cento poem

May 5, 2011


Directed cento poem

Congratulations to all who participated in the April poem-a-day NaPoWriMo.

We Write Poems:  
Are you familiar with cento poems? It’s a fairly simple poem construct. First gather some poem lines from one other writer (from one or more poems they’ve written), then without changing any of the content (beyond simple punctuation perhaps) select, rearrange and assemble a new poem from those poem lines. (All else aside it is an interesting way to get a close personal experience of another person’s style of writing.) That’s the core process for this week’s prompt, however we’re adding something into the selection process.

We’d like to suggest some direction about the poems you use for your source in making this cento poem. When you are feeling less bright, ill of sorts perhaps, when your attitude is full of doubts – then to what poet(s) do you turn, and specifically which poems? Maybe you consider them “healing” in nature, but we’re not looking for simply “get well poems”. What poems make more light for you? More willing, more open to experience? More willing to accept difference, less “struggle” perhaps? Even more creative? Get the idea? Select poems (from one author) that get you moving again. They might not even be obviously that way to anyone but yourself. Mere sweetness is not the remedy we ask you to enjoin. Well-being is. And that is a function of your own very personal experience.

When you select one writer and a few poems of theirs, then gather up some lines of interest to you (try not to think yet about what you’ll be doing with them, just select what has meaning and energy for you). Then rearrange and assemble the lines you most see right to use in making your new poem from their words (and you needn’t use all the lines you gathered). That poem can be whatever you wish for it. The “directed” nature of this prompt is about the source, not necessarily your result. Make sense? We’re just suggesting the seeds and what grows from them, well that’s yours to say.

Please remember to credit the author and poem titles.

Come back next Wednesday when you see,It’s Post Your Poems Day!” and leave a link to the poem on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, then please, post your poem in the comment itself.    ***    You are invited to respond to the prompt given here, but if you have something else you’re just itching to share, please feel welcome in doing that. Our first desire here is to encourage you to write and learn and share.    ***    When leaving comments to other’s poems, please be appreciative and encouraging. We are not a poem “critique” site (unless someone specifically asks for that). Be kind with each other (and yourself!).    ***    Please consider including a link with your blog poem back to the prompt response here at We Write Poems so that others may see and join our community. More participants do make better soup!

  1. May 9, 2011 9:27 am

    Last year at the end of NaPoWriMo I wrote a cento from each poem I wrote in April and created a paper sculpture of the same words. It was a fantastic exercise. This year I was not as successful with my NaPoing but there is always next year!

    • May 10, 2011 1:19 am

      Whoa! Couple of interesting ideas, and especially I like making three dimensional of poem words. (Didn’t happen to post a picture did you? 🙂 And the link?)

      Me, I just hope for the next poem!

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