Friendship and Hope, Eclipses Hate

By Rodney Mazinter

A few years ago, I had a CENTO published in a magazine now, alas, discontinued. A CENTO – a poem in the form of a literary work made up of quotations from other works. It is composed of verses or passages taken from other authors, disposed in a new form or order. The cento originated in the 3rd or 4th century.

When dictators enslave their own and force their ideas upon other people,

The oppressed rise up and fight for their freedom against the dictators.  (1)

They say that war is a holy cause? I say war causes people to be holy  (2)

He who says what is not, goes to hell;

He, also, who having done a thing, says I have not done it.     (3)

Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness, in which there is no love.  (4)

There are a few things certain since Social Progress began:

The Dog returns to his vomit, and the Sow returns to her Mire,

And the burnt fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.  (5)

Despair is strong. It fights against our hope,

Our determination and our hearts.  (6)

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul,

And sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.  (7)

Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,

And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head.  (8)

No remedy for black hate? Who says? Just love and love more, that’s all. (9)

Let such pure hate still underprop our love…  (10)

I have no time to hate, because the grave would hinder me,

And life is not so ample I could finish enmity.  (11)

Good we must love, and must hate ill, for ill is ill, and good, good still  (12)

And the night shall be filled with music, and the cares that infest the day

Shall fold their tents, and silently steal away.  (13)

To see the world in a grain of sand and a heaven in the flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.  (14)

Canst though, O friend! Say I love thee not

When I against myself with thee partake?  (15)

  1. Friedrich Kellner

  2. Friedrich Nietzsche

  3. Lord Buddha

  4. Richard Bach

  5. Rudyard Kipling

  6. Sri Chinmoy

  7. Emily Dickinson

  8. John Keats

  9. Sri Chinmoy

  10. Henry David Thoreau

  11. Emily Dickinson

  12. John Donne

  13. Henry Longfellow

  14. William Blake

  15. William Shakespeare

More Poems by Rodney Mazinter

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