Incremental Poetry ~ 59 Lines


If sleep is truce, as it is sometimes said,
A pure time for the mind to rest and heal,
Why, when they suddenly wake you, do you feel
That they have stolen everything you had?¹

In sleep the mind visits
old houses, tunneling
through lengthy corridors or
traveling from room to
room . . .

This is the colorless
purgatory between
some deeper sleeping
and waking, it may be
between life and death . . . .²

tell me
she said
about our house
about our children
and our gardens
about the life we will one day have
tell me
but he never did
because it wasn’t real
and it wasn’t until she was gone
that he understood
that she never needed the house
she only needed the dream³

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-wingéd bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams,
For when dreams go,
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. 4

To sleep, perchance to dream;
Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death,
What dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil. 5

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward) 6

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
It is therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. 7

Copyright © 2020 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

¹from “Sleep” by Jorge Luis Borges (transl. by Robert Mezey)
²from “In Hollows of Sleep” by Amy Bonner
³from “She Only Needed the Dream” by Atticus
4 from “Dreams” by Langston Hughes
5 from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
6 from “Dive for Dreams” by E. E. Cummings
7 from “A Dream within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.

From the Latin word for “patchwork,” the Cento is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them with their own, a true Cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources.
Length varies

2 Replies to “Incremental Poetry ~ 59 Lines”

  1. That was cool. The only one I recognized was Shakespeare’s (there’s the rub) being a line that I like to use occasionally. I’m not ready to dive into the study of poetry but, I enjoy reading the poetry you and others write, and learning about the different forms that way.
    Thank you for the lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

Questions or Comments?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Daily Spur

Your daily prompts to spur on your writing


Author, Poet, Blogger, Father, Reader And More

Simply Chronically Ill

thoughts from someone who lives it

Astra Poetica

Exploring a Universe of Poetry: a 52-Week Poetic Form Challenge

Poems for Warriors

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Ps 147:3

flashlight batteries - Ali Grimshaw

writing circles & poetry to keep your light on


Songwriter / Guitarist

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

Hannah Spuler

Bringing truth, goodness and beauty to children~ one whimsical (and sometimes silly!) story at a time.

%d bloggers like this: