All These Mixed Emotions

savage garden 2Note: a ‘Cento’ is a form of poetry dating back to the 3rd Century. It is a ‘patchwork’ poem, pieced together from fragments. These fragments can be taken from one poet, or several. In this case, all fragments are lyrics from the (seriously underrated) Australian band Savage Garden

All These Mixed Emotions
a Savage Garden cento

slow motion daylight
feel the presence all
around lift me up
into that privileged
point of view beauty
so unavoidable steel
& granite reminders
you don’t have to close
your eyes take up
shelter in the base
of my spine compassion
in the jungle when we
used to live for the night
time you just keep
me contemplating
it’s getting so loud
a thousand angels
dance around you
pour my heart to get
you in what a pleasant
dream the snow was
more lonely than cold
if you know what
I mean I believe
in love surviving
death into eternity

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “All These Mixed Emotions

    • Hey Martin, these are the individual lines without the poetic formatting:

      slow motion daylight

      feel the presence all around

      lift me up into that privileged point of view

      beauty so unavoidable

      steel & granite reminders

      you don’t have to close your eyes

      take up shelter in the base of my spine

      compassion in the jungle

      when we used to live for the night time

      you just keep me contemplating

      it’s getting so loud

      a thousand angels dance around you

      pour my heart to get you in

      what a pleasant dream

      the snow was more lonely than cold if you know what I mean

      I believe in love surviving death into eternity

      …so basically, the poet has the power to choose whichever fragments they want to use, and also to arrange the fragments in ways which make it the poet’s ‘own’ (as opposed to a cut and paste job of other people’s words).

      In this case I chose lines that I thought were most poetic, and also lines that were not easily identifiable (for instance, if I had included the line “I will fly with you to the moon and back” everyone reading the poem would start hearing the song, which would override the musicality of the poem itself). The way I write poetry relies very heavily on assonance, i.e. matching vowel sounds, and I’ve tried to recreate my own poetic style here except with other people’s lines. For example, the words “view” and “beauty”; “reminders”, “eyes” “spine”, “night” “time”; “loud”, “thousand”; “dream”, “mean”, “eternity”.

      Ultimately my goal was to elevate pop lyrics into the more ‘high brow’ format of poetry, to demonstrate my genuine respect for the art of the pop song. (Savage Garden was the first gig I ever saw, when I was 14, and it blew my mind in the way that great poetry blows my mind these days).

      If this helps, lol.

      Like

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