At our writing group last week we started to write a Cento. Lauren brought a great many poetry books by poets such as Eaven Boland, Dylan Thomas, John Fuller, Bob Dylan! Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Derek Walcott, Vikram Seth, WB Yeats and Tony Harrison. I have to admit I’ve only heard of a handful of these poets, which might explain why I formed my Cento from the Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas.

We randomly created page numbers from ideas like, the last 2 numbers of your mobile phone number (62), your house number (5), the month of your date of birth (3) etc. Then we turned to that page in the poetry book and chose a line from the poem on that page and put it in our Cento. I liked the idea very much as we were, as Lauren put it, deconstructing sculptures (I think…) or making sows’ ears out of silk purses perhaps!

My Cento is called “Cento 1” because it might be the first in a series from me. I think this one hangs together quite well.

“Hands have no tears sleepy man of winter
Let us summon death you boys of summer
From the first print of the unshodden foot
These boys of light are curdlers of their mothers
Let her inhale her dead with grave gipsy eyes
And drift or drown down by death’s features
Where no sun shines and burns the seeds of age”