Saturday, May 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Historically, the cento is ancient. Early Greeks built poems from such works as The Iliad and The Odyssey. Roman poets composed centos taken from the works of Virgil, and Renaissance poets worked with lines from Petrarch and Cicero. Modern cento forms include variations (i.e., a single borrowed line that’s echoed throughout a poem), and today’s centos are often witty or ironic.
Be sure to read “The Dong with the Luminous Nose” (a cento by John Ashbury that takes its title from Edward Lear and includes lines from poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, T. S. Eliot, and Lord Byron, (http://dougkirshen.com/dong/start.html), and "Ode: Salute to the New York School 1950-1970 " by Peter Gizzi, http://www.jstor.org/pss/20132337).
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Here's a suggested format, but remember that guidelines are entirely flexible:
Sunday, May 2, 2010
An example of 20th century music that incorporates the ubi sunt motif is Pete Seeger’s 1960s folk song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Ubi sunt is also seen in Tolkien’s poem in The Two Towers: “Where now the horse and the rider?” (based on the 10th century poem “The Wanderer”).
Begin by making a list of questions about things that are gone. Reflect on your list; if it’s very long, pare it down to a specific theme or content area. Then work the list into a poem. Experiment with stanzas, and plan how many lines in each, or use a stichic (one stanza) format. Add a simile or metaphor. Think about the sound of your poem (the music in it!), and incorporate some alliteration, assonance, or internal rhyme. Work for a sense of immediacy. Watch out for “ing” endings and too many adjectives. Keep your language fresh – avoid clichés. Remember that sometimes less really is more – try to limit your poem to no more than 25 lines.