"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Friday, January 12, 2018

Mormon Cento for Thomas S. Monson

The Western Pacific Railway crossing
the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Image Credit: NYPL

A Mormon Cento

the azure blue waters
like a living sentinel
this silent friend
this solemn statement

ageless in its application
this simple statement
the rock-strewn pathways

little wonder that men did tarry
entrusted with the work
honest men with yearning hearts
like pioneers blazing wilderness trails
speaking out fearlessly
such were the teachings and lives
the grasp of the people

truth has been and is available to us
a personal promised land
the reality
the comfort
the sanctity
the power
come home
the peal of a remembered bell will be the truth
may such be the blessing of all

Poet's Note:

The above poem is a cento, a derivative form of poetry. I have assembled my cento from phrases written by the late Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormons). As a non-practicing Mormon, I nonetheless feel a sense of nostalgia when a prominent leader of the faith passes.

In April of 1975, Mr. Monson delivered an address entitled "The Way Home" at the General Conference of the Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. The phrases in the above cento can be found within his speech. Monson's original address was not a poem, and this poem is not meant as an abridgement of the speech. It is meant to be enjoyed as a standalone piece.

Mr. Monson's address may be found in its entirety on the Church's website.