In all my years of teaching and reading poetry, I have somehow never heard of the cento– although surely I’ve read some without knowing, and a quick search on the form lists many well known poets who have written them. A few poets recently sent me centos with lines culled from Rattle and Spillway and other journals I admire, and I enjoyed these poems but just didn’t know what to do with them editorially.
Editors, what’s your take on centos? Do you publish them? Do we have to get reprint permission from the other journals if a poet borrows a lot of lines from different poets? Do you acknowledge the previous poets? Are centos an editorial nightmare, or are they a widely accepted form in publishing? Do we just go with the flow on centos as we would other found poems?
Poets, how would you feel if you came across your lines in a cento?
I look forward to discussion — thanks, friends.