Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Poetry Mini Challenge Day 4: Let's Write a Cento!

Today we are going to play with a couple different poetic fascinations.

The first is the style of poem we will each be creating – that is if you choose to write this type of poem at all.

We will be writing a Cento poem. Normally, I am not big on telling folks to write a specific form, but you may not yet have caught onto what has been working underneath the prompts. 

Or maybe you have figured out what I layered underneath the prompts.

The first day: Demolish and tearing down. (Taking a poem and crushing it)
The second day: new beginnings with the raw materials being your demolish and tearing down poem
The third day: encouragement and continuing... even when its tough.
The fourth day? We will be writing poems that are collages made up of other poems which is a poetry form called a Cento. 

This week each challenge day built upon the previous day.
By choosing lines from your first poem to craft your second poem, you were practicing revision. I have found revision is something I avoided until I found it to be a lot of fun. This was one of the ways I learned how fun it could be! Perseverance in writing is significant, too - perhaps one of the most significant of all. I was struggling myself throughout Day 3. 
As I've said before, there is a method to my madness in all of this!
I have written centos entirely of other poet’s work and once at the end of a National Poetry Month several years ago when I wrote a poem today, my final poem was a cento made up of a line of each of my previous 29 poems.

I suggest you try on a mix of these two. If you aren’t sure where to look for poems to use, I suggest you visit Poetry Magazine online where they have every issue ever published in the more than 100
I sometimes select lines at random, completely trusting the process.
year history available online. Besides that, the Poetry Foundation has a fantastic website where you can learn a lot about poetry.

Borrow some lines from another poet (or several poets and several poems). Either write some brand new lines of your own to weave among the other lines or take lines you’ve written in your own poetry.

I actually cut up poems in small paper slices and then tape them onto the page. 

I plan to make a cento of poems by Naomi Shahib Nye, Maxine Kumin and Richard Wilbur. 

What poet will you choose to write with today?

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