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A “Cento Sonnet” written by Mary Dickins on Jacqueline Saphra’s ‘Creative Constraint’.

We are delighted to be publishing this piece of poetry collage, from the Autumn 2023 term of Jacqueline Saphra’s course Creative Constraint. In a group exercise this term, each of Jacqueline’s fourteen students shared one line of a sonnet to develop for homework. Mary has then fashioned all of these one line prompts into a delightful piece of poetry collage – creating a sort of “Cento Sonnet” – which you can read below.

Notes for Love
(by everyone)

I kiss the hem of your black oilskin coat
The sounds my stomach makes are getting stranger 
I love the world but it won’t love me back
I lick the petal scent upon your neck
The ancient rose bush shared amongst the sisters
I pick the autumn berries by the track
I close the clasp and hear it snap before
that toe head hair begets a fair skinned child
Don’t take the guns and bombs across the border
Left knee less proud some say just like the team

Assigned a sonnet many times and failed
I let my left arm loop across your back
Requited love – how much does knowing count?
Now everyone is making notes for love

This poem is by the students of Jacqueline Saphra’s Autumn 2023 Creative Constraint Course: Meg Arnot, Barbara Tennis, Anna Pollard, Ashley Vos, Mary Dickins, Marilyn Daish, Bernadette Wren, Lydia Benson, Sue Blennerhassett, Marc Scheiner, Michele Benn, Sheena Bradley, Susan Alexander and Cheryl Chudyk. Creative Constraint will be running again as a part of our Spring 2024 Programme.

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