Thursday, February 20, 2020

New Year Cento

Happy Poetry Friday,

When reading Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters (Carolrhoda Books February 4, 2020) I learned that a cento poem is a poem comprised of lines from other poems by other poets. 

I thought, ooooh! I want to try that. Since I so recently received a bunch of New Year's postcards from our Postcard Exchange, thanks to Jone McCullough, I started there.

lines of poets re-typed and cut for arrangement....a cento in progress

New Year Cento

Bold Dreams bursting from the sky
the glitter
in unexpected places

Just enough

for snow to fall

Windows of life
open for our thoughts to inspire
a snow day

Stacks of books, rivers
words on waves

Imagine that
in the poetry
through the new year

Lines of poetry by poets in order of appearance

1. Kimberly Hutmacher
2. Diane Mayr
3. Molly Hogan

4. Christie Wyman
5. Robert Erdman
6. Kay McGriff

7. Carol Varsalona
8. Margaret Simon
9. Christie Wyman

10. Kay McGriff
11. Jone McCullough
12. Christie Wyman

13. Robyn Hood Black
14. Molly Hogan

15. Kay McGriff

Hop over to Library Matters for the rest of this week's poetry goodness. And, pick up a copy of Dictionary for a Better World. It's an amazing book. I have so much more to write about it....soon.


  1. Woohoo! Lovely! Just lovely. Especially your second verse. (I have no idea what a winterberry is - but pair it with snowfall and it has to be gorgeous!)

  2. Wow! I love this! Beautiful, evocative poem. I wrote a cento recently out of song lyric lines as a wedding vow to my husband on our anniversary. I love them but rarely write them. You knocked this outta the park!

  3. What fun! I love what you have done with these. Don't we all sound better together?

  4. Awesome cento, Linda -- I love the groupspeak!

  5. I love Irene and Charles' book, and love that you created your own cento, and from friends' postcards! It turned into a wonderful new poem, Linda! Very fun!

  6. What an amazing poem! Thanks for the heads up about Dictionary for a Better World. Alas my library doesn't have a copy. I just suggested they purchase it.

  7. Replies
    1. Ruth, if you see this...I'm trying to comment on your blog and not having any luck. I'll keep trying.

  8. This is such a brilliant way to make poetry postcard love keep on giving...I am so glad you shared the
    photo of how you did this and I love to picture you moving all those typed lines around.

  9. Now I have to try a cento also... thanks so much! Yours is so beautiful... Thanks again.

  10. Love your cento. My favorite stanza-
    "Stacks of books, rivers
    words on waves
    I picked it this book from my holds shelf last week and still haven't sat down to savor the words. Soon!

  11. I love it! (And I don't mind the glitter!)

  12. Brava! And a gift back to everyone who sent you postcards too. :)

  13. Love and will need to try for sure.

  14. Oh, lovely! And I'll have to add the cento form to the list of things to try with my daughter and her writing group.

  15. So much fun! I want to try a cento, too!

  16. I love how you wove these lines together. That first stanza is so visual!

  17. Wonderful poetry lines and thoughts to imagine,
    "through the new year."
    Thanks for your cornucopia filled cento Linda!

  18. You have enticed me to try this new poetry format, Linda. Thanks for using one of my lines in your new poem. The opening stanza is strong.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!