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  • Daniel Berthiaume

"And Miles to Go Before I Sleep" - Cento Poem about Dreams

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides 1

Always inside me is the child who died,

Always inside me is his will to die 2

Dying is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well 3

So it came time for me to cede myself 4

There’s an inverse world, where the insane go sane

And in the evening the sun is just rising 5

The wild earth for a moment goes in dust or weed another way 6

There are no eyes here 7

There is no Space or Time

Only intensity 8

And you o my soul where you stand, surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space 9

I had a small, non-speaking part

In a bloody epic 10

I bear it nobly as I live my part 11

Yet, never, in extremity,

it asked a crumb- of Me 12

Someone says “You’re in the wrong place my friend,

You better leave” 13

Wake up refreshed as fish dropped back into a forest pond 14

I hardly taste you at all, for I know your savor;

But I am completely nourished 15

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 16

Yet knowing how way leads on to way 17

The powerful play goes on 18


  1. Still I Rise- Maya Angelou

  2. Night Sweat- Robert Lowell

  3. Lady Lazarus-Sylvia Plath

  4. Mansion- A.R. Ammons

  5. Anti-matter- Russell Edson

  6. Much in Little- Yvor Winters

  7. The Hollow Men- T.S. Elliot

  8. There is no life or death- Mina Loy

  9. A noiseless patient spider- Walt Whitman

  10. Cameo Appearance- Charles Simic

  11. The White City- Claude McKay

  12. “Hope” is the thing with feathers- Emily Dickinson

  13. Desolation Row- Bob Dylan

  14. Domestic Bliss- John Yau

  15. A Decade- Amy Lowell

  16. Sonnet 18- William Shakespeare

  17. The Road Not Taken- Robert Frost

  18. O Me O Life- Walt Whitman


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