Monday, March 10, 2008

With your bitter, twisted lies
gathered around, you took my mouth,
weakened by my soulful cries,
and plunged it into your heart.

I am going to have it, you said.

Don't you take it awful hard
but you were always ambitious.

Did you want to see me broken?
Did my sexiness upset you?

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
that never ends.

Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise,
cursing holy blood at the table,
I rise,
whether or not you will make me immortal,
I rise.

You may write me down in history.

This poem does not contain any of my own words. It is a cento, patched together from these poems
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
They Eat Out By Margaret Atwood
To Restore a Dead Child by Keith Douglas
As Children Together by Carolyn Forche

With special thanks to jillypoet, paisley, mariacristina and the patchwork poetry prompt site.


Katie McKenna said...

I found it was very moving to read this post even if you did not write the words - you made the arrangement.

Ali Shwedo said...

Carolyn Forche was one of my professors at George Mason. I recognized her writing --- I am amazed at your writing though...such feeling and depth. Thank you for sharing.

Christine said...

Wow! You did a great job choosing lines that not only flow together, they tell a story of a relationship, and a narrator's hurt, passionate feelings.

I enjoyed very much the poem you chose by Maya Angelou. I read it again and again.

paisley said...

excellent.. i would say this fits like a glove... very smooth delivery i really enjoy doing this a few times a month... it is a great exercise....

gautami tripathy said...

Your patchwork truly shines!


Lirone said...

Works beautifully... such a song of defiance. I like the last three lines - particularly the way the last one stands alone and quietly strong.

And thanks for contributing the Maya Angelou poem - it's a great piece and I think we've all drawn a lot on its vibrant energy...

Michelle Johnson said...

Love the opening and final stanzas in your Cento. I can picture the rising. Have a nice day.

Moondreamer said...

Beautiful post!

Patchwork poetry ... will have to check that out, thank you!

And thank you for reminding me about the wonderful Maya. I haven't read any of her work since I read 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' when I did my BA dissertation, but will indulge myself next time I go to the library.


UL said...

wow, i must try this form