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Saturday, June 5, 2010



Write a cento poem based on the poetry of either Shakespeare or Charles Bukowski.
If you are feeling super surreal you could write one combining Shakespeare and Bukowski.
Enthusiasts could try one of each!A cento poem is a collage poem.
You choose lines from various poems and create a new poem from it.
Ideally the lines should fit seamlessly together to produce a homogenous piece.Please name the poems from which you derived your lines ( to impress us! )
These are such fun to write and the results are often amazing!
Oh no, I can hear all the moaning already across the Pacific.
Look...just think of all the good new poems you get to read.
Miss Pommeroy knows best!



As Buddha smiles
Slouching toward Nirvana
With declining head into his bosom,
The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold

Now is the winter of our discontent
And, if we meet, we shall not ‘scape a brawl
War All the Time
The Continual Condition

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips
Cold Dogs in the Courtyard
I know you two are rival enemies
Love is a Dog from Hell

And may it be that you have quite forgot
The Pleasures of the Damned
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…
Absence of the Hero

Run with the Hunted
From this day to the ending of the world

Lines 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17
Are all titles of poems by
Charles Bukowski
The other lines are quoted from
William Shakespeare
As follows:
3, The Taming of the Shrew - Act 1 Scene 1
4, Hamlet - Act 1 Scene 4
5, Richard III - Act 1 Scene 1
6, Romeo and Juliet - Act 3 Scene 1
9, Henry V - Act 3 Scene 1
13, A Midsummer Night's Dream - Act 4 Scene 1
14, Twelfth Night – Act 3 Scene 2
15, Hamlet - Act 3 Scene 1
18, Henry V - Act 4 Scene 3


  1. That is so cool! I have got to try this.

  2. Thanks Mama Zen; As it came toether, it put me in mind of Picasso's painting, hence the inclusion of Guernica, and the title which is a play on 'Civil War'.

  3. Love the war theme. This worked very well with using just titles. The painting is a very good choice to illustrate the poem.
    'I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips
    Cold Dogs in the courtyard '
    This would make a good prompt!Watcha think?

  4. Thanks Rall; I'm up for it, and won't be so rushed next time.

  5. Urbane Hostilities or Uncivil War!
    Clever, this poem. I am ashamed not to have done it properly.

  6. Great work Stan! Either you have a photographic memory or endless time to read through all these works?! Well worth it though. You are too kind about my own effort.

  7. Thanks to;
    ViV; You go whichever way the prompt takes you. All are valid responses.
    Derrick; I wish! I chose a couple that I was familiar with, did a bit of surfing, a bit of scribbling, and realised Bukowski's titles and words of Will formed a theme...

  8. The war theme works well for you, Stan! Buddha meets William Shakespeare.

  9. Good job. Nice dialog using those titles
    He does make me wish I were better at naming my poems.

  10. Great dialog using those titles from Charles!

  11. Wow -- I like that you took Bukowski's titles, Stan. Are they good or what? And you wove them wonderfully throughout the poem above. Not amazed, as I'm getting to understand your skills, talent and perspective, but I'm still wowed.

  12. Thanks to:
    Marianne; War can be interpreted as any conflict.
    B; I think the point of this type of excercise is to make us assess our own style of writing.
    Pamela; When I saw the pattern in Charles' titles, I knew Will would provide the filling.
    Linda; Everything we want to say has been said before. We just have to find who said it and where.

  13. I like the way you begin the poem. Though the hostility builds up, Buddha stands like a conscience. Nice poem.

  14. Thanks Uma; Or a neutral observer.

  15. It's pretty impressive that you were able to cobble together lines/titles from so many pieces and make it all flow so well.

  16. Thanks Francis; I had to do a bit of juggling before I was happy with the outcome.