Resurrection (Cento)

rocks and fog

Resurrection (Cento) 

Everything we love
returns to the ground.

Each syllable is the work of sabotage,
a breeze seeping from the heart of the rocks.

They are my last words
or what I intend my last words to be.

I think just how my shape will rise,
a miracle, anywhere light moves.


A cento is composed of lines borrowed from other poets. “Resurrection” first appeared here in January 2016, and owes its existence to the poetry of Tishani Doshi, Paul Auster, Antonella Anedda, Sean Hill, Emily Dickinson, and Ruth Ellen Kocher. I urge you to seek out their work. It astounds!


18 thoughts on “Resurrection (Cento)

  1. I admire your ability to find a cohesion and flow from one line to another, when the associations don’t exist until you make them. Indirectly, it’s a testament to your ability to make a leap within your own words/poetry. And, I say “leap,” because it can seem that way to a reader, until you have shown the natural reasoning, from one line to another.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m curious, Bob (if you have time to reply; if not, not a big deal—I’ll look it up) . . . and since I might attempt one of these myself: am I correct in understanding that this is 2 lines (1 from one poet, 1 from another)?: “Everything we love[1 poet]/returns to the ground” [a different poet]? Hope that makes sense. My days of academic poetry are in the dim past, so I wanted to understand what you mean by line.

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    • I believe the “rules” are rather flexible. I try to use intact phrases, rather than fragments of phrases. The words you quote are actually from one poet, Tishani Doshi. I break the poets’ source lines, or run them together, as I see fit, altering only the punctuation. “Each syllable is a work of sabotage” comes from Paul Auster, “a breeze seeping from the heart of the rocks” is Antonella Anedda’s. So by LINE, I mean that portion lifted from the source poet. And as poets often use sentence fragments as complete lines in poems, they can be combined in interesting ways to form new meaning. Or at least that is the hope.

      Liked by 1 person

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