Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Cento Vs. A Found Poem: A Quick Comparison

A Cento Poem, according to Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms by Babette Deutsch, is a patchwork poem made up of scraps from various sources. Also Cento is a Latin word that signifies a garment made of patches. And A Found poem, according to, is a poem that takes existing texts and refashions them, reorders them, and presents them as poems. Also a pure found poem consists exclusively of outsides texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with a few additions or omission. The decisions of form are left up to the poet. If both definitions are examined it can be seen that there is little to no different between A Cento and A Found Poem. Both types of poems are created using previously existing text and the structure/form is left up to the poet. The conclusion that I have come up with is that they are the same type of poem, but Cento is an older way of labeling a found poem. I came to this conclusion because the way both of the definitions are same similar and have almost no difference plus I have never heard someone refer to a Found Poem as a Cento.

-Osiel Rodriguez

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