A cento is a poetic form where a new poem is made up using lines from other poems.

Using a mix of other people’s words, this poem was composed as part of my Residency at Port Eliot Literary Festival.

It draws on lines from poetical works by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Philip Larkin, John Donne, John Keats, Vladimir Nabokov, Lord Byron, Dante Alighieri, Rudyard Kipling, William Blake, Edgar Allen Poe, Andrew Marvell, Walt Whitman and, of course, George Eliot…

Watch a video of me reading the poem


Poetic Port

The guests are met, the feast is set.

Speak, memory – 

For the straightforward path has been lost

Beneath a trellis or a trilby hat.


And though it is the deep, dark night you feel that the light is done;

New worlds to inherit.

Is that a star? Or the lamp that gleams.

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?


He thought he saw an elephant

Over the rock,

Where the spirit drinks till the brain is wild,

Like sleeping and like waking all at once!


Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,

And as we climbed the hill,

Fair river! In thy bright, clear flow

What wondrous life is this I lead?


The Port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting:

Memory and desire, stirring

Of cloudless climes and starry skies

Give me excess of it!




Suzie has worked in marketing, PR and communications for more than 20 years. She has worked for and with brands including visitBlackpool, JVC, Elemis and in the South West the Eden Project, Skinners, ShelterBox, Porthleven Food Festival, Whistlefish, Tempest Photography, Tom Raffield and more. Suzie believes in the power of the personal touch — and of telling and sharing stories to make meaningful connections with customers.

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