Autumn god–a Cento

Photo Credit: via Google Images

In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting
where the wild asters, last blossoms of the season straggle uphill.

We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Back then, the green grass sprouted and little red flower blossomed.

O world, I cannot hold you close enough. Your woods this autumn,
that ache and sag and all but cry with color, a dazzle dim;

he fathers-forth whose beauty is past change, as when a leaf
or petal is drawn to the falls of a pool, and circling a moment above it

rides over the lip—perfectly beautiful—and is gone.
Death, be not proud.

This is written as a cento in response to the prompt by Sam Peralta over at dVerse Meeting the Bar. The poets I used, with alterations, include Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon, John McCrae, James Weldon Johnson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Oscar Wilde. Some of the lines are blended.


22 thoughts on “Autumn god–a Cento

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    in every heart, the gods of flower and death
    live in perfect symetry, and one called beauty
    and the other mighty and darkly dreadful but
    death be not proud, though some name him so
    one short sleep past, we wake eternally . . .
    and death shall be no more but only flower

    … or so we dream, eh?
    Well done, my friend.


  2. tigerbrite says:

    Beautifully crafted 🙂


  3. Shawn says:

    In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting

    So very very powerful. I struggled to move past this line, because it stopped me and embraced me.


  4. I suppose fall is a time when most people thing of the end. The end of growth, of summer. But I see fall as the beginning of harvesting and reacquainting oneself with the comfort of one’s home, and all those wonderful cozy sweaters… 😉


  5. dfb says:

    I like this Victoria, very well done.


  6. Very fine blending..with favorite lines from some of my favorite poets – Hopkins leapt out at me (or should I say “sprang”?) as he always does, yet not so much as to overpower the beauty resonant through the entire piece. Wonderful, Victoria.


  7. Mary says:

    This is just stunning, Victoria. One would NEVER realize that this is a Cento. I love the line, “In every heart there is a god of flowers…….”


  8. kaykuala says:

    A fine weave into all the poet’s mind. It was all done smoothly, a great cento! Nicely done Victoria!


  9. claudia says:

    O world, I cannot hold you close enough…that’s the heart for me here as it sums up everything before and after so beautiful…the god of flowers in every heart, the riding over the lip..dying in beauty…like it much victoria


  10. vivinfrance says:

    You have really captured the ambivalence of the season with your collage.


  11. You wove this so well – seamlessly. I especially love the first line – and the next-to-last. Lovely.


  12. sreeja says:

    very beautiful…….you weaved it so well…….


  13. seingraham says:

    Spare, elegant and so wonderfully woven … and all relating to autumn – quite impressive, I must say – especially the Donne … nice.


  14. jmgoyder says:

    ‘rides over the lip’ – I love it.


  15. brian miller says:

    wow victoria….you really wove this nice and with such emotion as well…love the god of flowers in every heart….and that we are the dead…..intriguing really …and nicely done…


  16. Semaphore / Samuel Peralta says:

    …with John Donne there, in the last line, of course.

    I love how you were able to support our autumn theme with the many different sources you used. It isn’t easy, is it, the cento? It forces your mind to think a little differently compared to writing a wholly original work.


  17. leahJlynn says:

    Really nice, I kept thinking of this a flower or leafs song to the fall.


  18. Gorgeous, it made me cry.


  19. siggiofmaine says:

    Elegant…love it !
    Siggi in Downeast Maine


  20. I love this especially the first line. Nicely done 🙂


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