Duet Between Percy Bysshe Shelley and Leigh Hunt: A Cento*

by Jenna Le

Waiting for Music by Jeffrey C. Dickler

Jenny kiss’d me when we met
On my lips and eyelids pale,
Jumping from the chair she sat in
And like a dying lady, lean and pale.

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain.

Say I’m weary, say I’m sad
And ever changing, like a joyless eye;
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
A white and shapeless mass;

Say I’m growing old, but add,
Oh cease! must hate and death return?
Jenny kiss’d me.
Gods and men, we are all deluded thus.

 

 

 

* “Duet Between Percy Bysshe Shelley and Leigh Hunt: A Cento” is a cento comprised entirely of lines from Percy Bysshe Shelley and Leigh Hunt poems that are in the public domain, including “Jenny Kiss’d Me” (Hunt), “The Indian Serenade” (Shelley), “The Waning Moon” (Shelley), “Art Thou Pale for Weariness” (Shelley), “Hellas: Chorus” (Shelley), and “Hymn of Pan” (Shelley).

 

Jenna Le, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, lives and works as a physician and educator in the Upper Connecticut River Valley region of New Hampshire. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Anchor & Plume, 2016). Her poetry has appeared in AGNI Online, The Best of the Raintown Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, and Massachusetts Review. Her website is jennalewriting.com.

Jeffrey C. Dickler, a native of Brooklyn, New York, was transplanted to the Midwest after his formative years. His love of the outdoors grew from summers at his grandfather’s Camp Iroquois on Frost Pond in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. By age four he already had hiked to the peak of Mount Monadnock. Later family trips to the American Southwest and National Parks cemented his love of exploring nature with a pack on his back and camera in hand. In 2017 he retired to the Monadnock region. He lives with his wife, Deni, and their four-legged companion, Willy Waggins, in Rindge, New Hampshire.

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