Cento by Ali Arsanjani

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood

there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming

dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane,

In some untrodden region of my mind,

Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,

Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind …

…with beauty like the Moon, Tell us, everything you have heard !

We have all been in your circle of trust, Tell us, everything you have seen!  

In the sweetland of the Soul, I am drowned in your sweetness

Wine pulled me leftward, my heart pulled me to rightness


Don’t worry, this tug of war is sweet

In this street behind the wine tavern, Tell us, where did you hide the keys?

Each befriended me for what they held dear

But they did not seek to learn that secrets are near

We are closed in, and the key is turned

On our uncertainty.

Attribution of Cento: Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, Keats, Yeats, Rumi.