Love, Scattered (Cento)


Love, Scattered (Cento)

I cull and offer this and this,
and these last definite whorls

or later star or flower, such
rare dark in another world,

outdistancing us, madness
upon madness, the crest

and hollow, the lift and fall,
ah drift, so soft, so light,

where rollers shot with blue
cut under deeper blue as the

tide slackens when the roar of
a dropped wave breaks into it,

and under and under, this
is clear—soft kisses like bright

flowers— why do you dart and
pulse till all the dark is home?

I am scattered in its whirl.


* * *

This cento is composed exclusively of lines taken from fifteen pages in the Collected Poems of H.D., 6th printing, 1945. Hilda Doolittle is a fascinating figure in 20th century American poetry. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s biography for further information:



22 thoughts on “Love, Scattered (Cento)

  1. It’s wonderful to come back to WordPress and find you and this cento here… Once upon a time, I was The Fairy of Disenchantment, and now I’ve started a new blog with a different angle and no alter egos… but I hope it will have poetry again; it’s been too damned long. ~Sunshine

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That opening line is a perfect allusion to the cento’s form, especially with the lines that follow, as they describe the blending of elements that stand easily on their own, yet take on new life as they are combined.

    Liked by 2 people

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