I didn’t want to not do the last NaPoWriMo prompt, even if a cento isn’t my kind of thing. This poem is entirely written by William Shakespeare.

Dreams of a dead lover

I dreamt there was an emperor,
His legs bestrid the ocean,
His face
A sun and moon.

Night hangs upon mine eyes, my bones would rest
Beneath the visiting moon.

A sea change
into something rich and strange—
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
A walking shadow.
Our lamp is spent.

As boundless as the sea, my love,
I owe more tears
To this dead man than you shall see me pay.
Here is my space.
Kingdoms are clay.

Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
Sleep, that I might see but such another man.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

16 thoughts on “Dreams”

  1. I wanted to do the last prompt, too, but a cento is also not my thing. I guess you can’t go wrong with Shakespeare though–
    but wait till you see my Oracle poem! 🤣

    1. I read your comment (the cento is a daft idea, I think), then had to go and visit the Oracle so I could read your message. It’s done, I’ll post it and be right over.

  2. Something rich and strange…exactly!
    I like centos, I guess because it’s an excuse to read a lot of poems all at once and really pay attention to and savor the words. And then it’s like a collage in a way, fitting the pieces together. (K)

    1. Yours worked, maybe because you chose poets and themes in a similar style. Most of the poems didn’t work. I honestly don’t see the point of this exercise. All that energy searching through other people’s lines to shoe horn them into a poem that makes sense. I find it hard enough to do with words I’ve thought up myself!

      1. I enjoy the process, but I agree, it’s hard to do it well. The poetry should mean something to you to begin with, not just be randomly chosen. That’s why yours worked.

      2. When the lines are chosen because they’re non-committal, the kind of line that says nothing so you can link it to almost anything, it makes for pretty boring poetry.

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