A poem consisting only of lines from other poems. This, from the Italian word for patchwork, is almost a technique rather than a form, especially as it can be of any length, and any metre, and need not rhyme; however, as the finished poem is referred to as a cento, just as a sonnet is called a sonnet, it is a form.
This is not my own poem. It’s actually not even a ‘real’ poem. All these lines are Shakespeare’s writing. What I’ve done, was to take lines – with the same theme, which is the moon, and put them together – and I was trying to get it to make sense. The title is my own though, of course. This is what you call a ‘cento.’
I do love Shakespeare and my favourite is Hamlet, maybe because it was the book prescribed when it was my matric-year. It was always a nightmare, having to study Shakespeare and knowing all those quotes – I think I studied about 50 of the quotes. We had to know from what Act/Scene the quote was and you never knew which quotes you would get, but even that didn’t put me off from Shakespeare.
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth
It is the very error of the moon
Swifter than the wandering moon
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon
This old moon wanes!
She lingers my desires
Sweet moon, I thank thee for they sunny beams
So many journeys
That I, being govern’d by the waterymoon
Of the extreme verge:
for all beneath the moon
You moonshine revellers and shades of night
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Another moon: but, o, methinks, how slow
And the moon changes even as your mind
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon
My lord, I am a mile beyond the moon
-Shakespeare-‘lines’ (c) Nikita