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A cento poem

While poetry in itself can have undertones, giving us various perspectives, a cento poem goes further ahead to bring on an entirely new dimension.

A cento poem is nothing but a collage poem with lines picked up from other sources of poetry/prose to combine and come up with patched-up poetry. It is total fun and also challenging.

To come up with a cento poem, one must read many other poems/prose pieces and come up with an idea or central theme that can hold the lines from various sources under one theme.

Here’s a cento poem that I came up with during an advanced poetry writing workshop. Hope you enjoy it. Also, I have mentioned the sources from which these lines are taken, at the end. To make the flow seamless, I have also added few lines from my side 🙂

Every Storm Brings Along a Calm, Thereafter

My desires are many and my cry is pitiful,  
My body's wisdom tells and tells again  
A voice inside, briefly, soothing the pain-
“These men bearing flags were thirsty for love.”

There was never a consent, nothing of me
They grow on me like leaves on a tree.

“That virus is not for you 
They decayed before they were born”
nothing can mend, I’m already torn.

They never seem to stop their coming,
They grow on me like leaves on a tree,
There was never a consent, nothing of me
That I shall find my rest, my sleep, my peace
the voice fountains, thrusting brevity at ease...

“The infinite knows what you hunger for
Ask Him to carry you across”
My conflicting mind dives into a pause
From a silence, somewhere deep within.

Strength surmounts, knowing whom to let in
saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.

“Day by day thou art making me worthy
 of thy full acceptance”- I surrender
For men may come and men may go, 
but I go on forever…


List of poems the verses are taken from; numbered per the flow of poem:

  1. “Strong Mercy”, from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.
  2. “Relationship” by Kamala Das.
  3. Self
  4. “Thirsty for love” by Pragya Bhagat
  5. Self
  6. “Words” by Kamala Das
  7. Taken from the book of Bhakti Poetry Eating God, edited by Arundhathi Subramaniam. This particular verse is taken from Lal Ded’s poetry and translated by Ranjit Hokote.
  8. “Thirsty for love” by Pragya Bhagat
  9. Self
  10. “Words” by Kamala Das
  11.  “Words” by Kamala Das
  12. Self
  13. “Relationship” by Kamala Das.
  14. Self
  15. Taken from the book of Bhakti Poetry Eating God, edited by Arundhathi Subramaniam. This particular verse is taken from Lal Ded’s poetry and translated by Ranjit Hokote.
  16. Taken from the book of Bhakti Poetry Eating God, edited by Arundhathi Subramaniam. This particular verse is taken from Lal Ded’s poetry and translated by Ranjit Hokote.
  17. Self
  18. “Words” by Kamala Das
  19. Self
  20. “Strong Mercy”, from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.
  21. “Strong Mercy”, from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.
  22. “Strong Mercy”, from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.
  23. “The Brook” by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  24. “The Brook” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Let me know how you liked the poem and what perspectives you drew out of it.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.


Picture of the author.

Hi, I’m Seethalakshmi (aka) Preethi, a Poetpreneur who can help you find solace in reading, writing and/or gifting poetry. Drop an email at promisingpoetry5@gmail.com to get a customised poetry gift or to get honest feedback for your poetry.

I also write for causes & currently writing for the cause- “Raising Readers“, collaborating with my friends, Sini and Roshna.


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