Friday, June 12, 2009

Poetry Friday: And we leap up to become

 This week, Tricia's Monday Poetry Stretch was to write a fairy-tale inspired poem, and I couldn't resist. Please go see the other poems; they are marvelous. 

NOTE: A cento is a poem made from other poems, and in this one, written for the Frog Princes, I only used poems with the word LEAP in them.  At the bottom of the post are the sources for each of my lines, beginning with the title, "and we leap up to become."

A Cento for The Frog Princes


and we leap up to become


My heart leaps up when I behold


a bridge that leaps from her hot red hands.


The dancers take turns leaping over the bonfire,


to delight thee with fantastic leaping


ease, like teenage boys leaping for rebounds.


This music leaps from key to key


and a terrier is leaping like a flea.


Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds.

Leap to the right! Grab!


Run the rapid and leap the fall 

at any moment. Leap from a skewed bowl!


For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his  prayer–– 

With a tiger-leap half way, now she meets the coming prey––


Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and



My tongue leapt out of my mouth


Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap—


leaping…illuminating all the mo-

  tionless world of Time



Well, it's gone now: The leaping light.

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide.


He leapt into the blue dark––


For the great last leap of the wave over the breakwater,


In me all's sunk that leapt, and all that dreamed.


1 Vacation, by Rita Dove

2 My Heart Leaps Up, by William Wordsworth

3 Dishwater, by Ted Kooser

4 A group of girls from Minnesota or black mascara,    

by Maureen Owen

5 Endymion, by John Keats

6 ars Poetica, by Anthony Butts

7 J. S. Bach: F# Minor Toccata, by Bill Holm

8 Looking Around, Believing by Gary Soto

Venus and Adonis, by William Shakespeare

10  Arms, by Richard Tayson

11 The Song Of The Chattahoochee, by Sidney Lanier

12 Apples, by Grace Schulman

13 Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, lines 695-768 by Christopher Smart 

14 The Kitten and the Falling Leaves, by William Wordsworth

15 I Sing the Body Electric, by Walt Whitman

16 Frog, by Chard deNiord

17 "Out, Out—" by Robert Frost

18 Howl, by Allen Ginsberg

19 Ghost Notes, by Ralph Burns

20 Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou

21 Trickster, by Sherwin Bitsui

22 The Storm, by Theodore Roethke

23 The Suicide, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poetry Friday is hosted today by the entertainingly titled blog, Critique de Mr. Chompchomp


  1. Oh, what a treat! And now I get to look up all the poem lines I didn't know. Fun!

  2. Tres cool. Love the verbal acrobatics!

  3. Oh! So very much fun! LOVE this!

    *Is considering writing a cento from everyone's favorite Shakespeare lines, if my brain will work for me*

  4. These centos going around recently continue to amaze. Who knew so many poets thought about leaping???? Thanks, Sara - that must have taken forever to put together.

  5. The poem is wonderful and equally impressive is the number of poems you borrowed from. How do you go about finding lines and then choosing those that work seamlessly together?

  6. Too clever! This has us leaping in all directions. The amazing thing is how it works!

  7. For this cento, once I had the idea to feature the word LEAP, I went to and used their advanced search option to search for poems that contained it. Then I culled through the 87 results and shuffled them around like puzzle pieces until I got the storyline I wanted. It's an engrossing way to spend a few hours!

  8. I love the second to last stanza. Awesome. Ahh... This looks like so much fun. Makes me want to try one.

  9. Wow. How impressive that you manage to not only create a fun poem from your word gymnastics, but one that you imbue with meaning, too. This rocks!


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