through the pale door

Owners and occupants of earlier dates

Come back to-night, treading softly over the grass;

Then with a cry that quavers

Our house, they say; and mine, the cat declares

A haunted house. Tenants unknown

There is no flame can make them warm.


I decided to create another cento as part of the yeah write January poetry slam and was able to answer this week’s ultimate question, “Whose house is this?”, in exactly 42 words. I impressed enough readers to earn a spot in the Top 3.

13 thoughts on “through the pale door

  1. What a poem! This is fantastic in its own right, but an amazingly smooth, perfect cento as well! I must admit it did cross my mind to do a cento-gargleblaster, but I just didn’t have it in me. Love this!


  2. cento + ultimate question answering + spooky gargleblaster = masterful. I’m thinking you thrive in situations when you are given a lot of limitations and structure. That’s a compliment, I do too. The more rules for what I’m writing the better!


    1. I don’t think I could have pulled a cento out of the air. Where would I begin looking for lines? So the prompt definitely helped. It had been fun to explore this form and a great excuse to read poetry, something I haven’t done in ages.


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