We Real?, a Cento

This is a Cento I wrote for Poetic Asides on July 30, 2008. I repeated it today for Poetic Bloomings. A Cento is a poem which uses lines from other poets in order to create a brand-new poem.

We Real?, a Cento

We real cool-zero at the bone,
bouncing from typewriter to piano.

Many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
encourages the writing of more poetry.

Brillig, and the slithy toves
to find out what it really means.

“Pipe a song about a lamb.”–
Fancy unto fancy, like shining into shook foil.

“Every Q needs a U,”
Quoth the Milwaukee-talkie.

Poetry fills me with joy,
and that has made all the difference.

Sheryl Kay Oder

The poets I used (in order) are Gwendolyn Brooks (We Real Cool), Emily Dickinson (A Narrow Fellow in the Grass), Billy Collins (The Lanyard), Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven), Billy Collins (The Trouble with Poetry), Lewis Carroll (Jabberwocky), Billy Collins (Introduction to Poetry), William Blake (Introduction [to Songs of Innocence]), Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven), Gerard Manley Hopkins (God’s Grandeur), Ogden Nash (limerick beginning with line,”An Exiled Iraqi went back”), Edgar Allen Poe (the Raven), Ogden Nash (limerick beginning with line,”There was a young girl of Milwaukee”), Billy Collins (The Trouble with Poetry), and Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken).

2 thoughts on “We Real?, a Cento

    • The original prompt instructed us to list the poets. Most of the poets on Poetic Bloomings listed the poems also. If I get a chance sometime I can do that, too. Thanks for the like, Diana.

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