Poetry Challenge - a Cento
A Cento, would be an interesting challenge. Roger McGough has one after the forward in my Poetry Please edition; and it can easily be googled for guidance. There could be two categories for winners; the first for the actual Cento, and the second for anyone who can identify all of the sources. And of course the winner of the poem would need to disclose the sources to the judges when submitting.
Just an idea
Dougie, I have written two Cento (also called patchwork poems or collage poetry) but don't remember if I posted them here. Unfortunately, the search box is useless and can't trace them. They are called "London's burning" and "Typhoon". I shall repost on Friday.
Great Luigi! I only came across cento's recently, and if you could repost yours it might rekindle an interest in the form. It might be a bit of a challenge as a contest; I would suggest only allowing first lines, and maybe from recognised works, otherwise we might inundated with obscure poems. Also, why not prose works, as in: 'it was the best of times; it was the worst of times'. Just thinking 'outside the box', though not sure what thinking inside the box signifies?
Dougie (erstwhile Dodgem)
Dougie, I don't think I would participate in this if it became a Poetry Challenge.
Call me a miserable old Git but, to me it has a 'perfume' of plagiarism. Yes, Yes, I know it goes back centuries, but I just don't like the idea and I can't see the benefits for me of doing them. If I was a studying on a graduate course for old masters then no doubt it would be very useful . . . but I'm not.
I just don't like the idea of taking parts of someone's work and turning it into something of my own. This has happened to me, and although I agreed to let a friend use an idea from a short story I wrote to make a poem (which was excellent) I was not comfortable about it.
I'm sure many people will strongly disagree with me, but that is my personal take on Centos mixes and collage poems.
You might find this link of interest: https://www.cobanionsmith.com/five-reasons-why-the-cento-isnt-a-ripoff/
I have to say I don't agree with some of the points this lady makes, but as I said that's just me.
@guaj You have made it clear here and in a comment to me that you are not a fan of a pastiche poem and you would not take part in a challenge that has it as a theme. Fair enough, obviously entry is not compulsory. It is your assertion that it has the perfume of plagiarism that doesn't hold This is a definition of plagiarism:
Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. ... Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional. As you can see from my two examples, the authors are no longer alive and it would be difficult to get their consent and acknowledgement of authorship is present.
The poems you produced are phenomenal pieces which must have taken great dedication
I agree its not strictly plagiarism but as I said I won’t be doing this and anyway I doubt I could if I wanted to. Your skill and knowledge of poetry is far greater than mine
I posted the link because it indicates there are two thoughts about these forms and explains my decision without suggesting participants are doing anything unethical 🙂
I quite understand. We all have likes and dislike; I will try anything (at least once). I much prefer rhymed poetry and am not keen on free verse but acknowledge that I have come across many excellent and enjoyable pieces written in this manner. I am also a firm believer that one can achieve a great deal with enough determination.
No reason a Cento couldn't be used for a challenge. Only problem I see here is you have to announce the challenge and a submission date first, as well as explain and illustrate what a Cento is. Why should people care to participate when they're expected to figure everything out for themselves! The question of whether there ought to be a proclaimed 'winner' (by whom? the one who sets the challenge?) is one I don't agree with at all, but some really liked the fried egg concept that egriff placed on pieces when he ran the poetry challenge on the forums. I think it trivialized the whole creative effort, myself. If a poem entered for a challenge is selected as a great read by an anonymous nibber, that's honor enough, imo. It might even be nominated and eventually find its way into the Anthology. Happened to one of my challenge poems, A Winter's End.
I was never a fan of e-Griff's "egg'' and although I participated in the challenges that were set I didn't see the need for them apart from treating them as a game like the music quiz, to inject some levity to the site and keep it alive.
@ionicus I wasn't thinking of you in particular nor anyone else, Luigi. I know several enjoyed participating. I should explain my great interest in promoting the Poetry Challenge as it was first initiated on UKA by savvi (not egriff's version): it sprang from watching how the original Prose Challenge developed. I'd read all the entries and all the responses month after month ( I believe they were monthly) and see how well everyone interacted with everyone else. How serious they all were about helping each other with their feedback. What I saw over time was that each improved their writing skills tremendously; it was an online equivalent to the writing workshop type setting I've experienced and go on and on about ad naseam - to the annoyance of many! Egriff was one of this small group and a greatly humbled egriff at that! Totally respectful of what everyone had to say. The winning was in the finding of one's own 'voice' and strengths. Their best writing selves. Some would go on to publishing success, others were more content in the self discovery, the mastery of the art. To me, that kind of challenge, worked in the same manner, could be a gift for the poet. And starting from a prompt CAN inspire when you've got not one original thought in your head!