A Base Ambition (a Cento)


Men bled in imitation of
the rotting dead they feared
~ fought, conquered, and
the same course steered

with a deaf heart, framed
with the still fiercer vanity
of a fool of false dominion,
a slave to claimed supremacy.

And from their barren being
did grow a cold omnipotence...
until their crimes were triumph,
and free thoughts accidents.

All creeds thus modelled still
have men in chains; much misery
we reap, where gladiator gods
wage war on life with 'dignity'.



(the words in this Cento are from
Harold Childe's Pilgrimage, by Lord
Byron, specifically: Canto the fourth,
verses LXXXVII - XCV)

  • Author: JHEJ (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: May 9th, 2018 18:09
  • Comment from author about the poem: "Cento" is Latin for "patchwork" & a Cento poem is made from pieces of other people's poetry ~ words +/ whole lines may be taken from e.g. several poetry collections, or (as i've done here) from a single epic poem. Centos are supposed to use the chosen words +/ lines to say the opposite of what the original poet/s meant ~ while the narrator in "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" appears to love Nature and life, he is in awe of mythical warrior gods and war heroes, so my above Cento was written to counter that book's often romantic depiction of those war idols. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
  • Category: Sociopolitical
  • Views: 30
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