They fell like the leaves
hours that float idly down
Nothing gold can stay
NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now – our final (but still optional!) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.
Good afternoon and welcome to the final day, day thirty of napowrimo where I write a cento haiku. I do like short poetry forms and this morning, nothing gold can stay popped into my head. When I realized it was 5 syllables I thought maybe I could write a cento haiku.
Falling Leaves and Early Snow – Kenneth Rexroth
Blizzard – William Carlos Williams
Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost
Anyone who has been reading my month long contributions knows I tried my hand at a cento on day twenty-two: Kisses. I’m not sure it reads as a whole very well. But Gretchen had to write a cento for one of her classes and I thought I’d give it a go. Maybe this small poem connects better. Let me know. And thanks for joining me on the wild ride that is April.