A Petrarchan Blonde on Blonde Cento Sonnet
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
of your balcony wond’ring where you are,
with pockets well protected and streetcars,
sayin “I’ll go out and say a prayer for
the cracked bells and washed-out horns
at your feet while phony false alarms
furnish me with tape deep inside my heart.
I just can’t do what I done before…”
But you said, “Don’t forget everybody
must give these promises you left for me
with your silhouette, when the sunlight high-
way blues is so stuffy I can hardly
whisper, ‘Not even you can hide, you see,
but this time I’m not gonna tell you why.’”
**A cento is an ancient poetic genre made up of lines and parts of lines from other texts. In this case, all come from the lyrics of Dylan's 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. My favorite cento is Ausonius' Vergilian one about a marriage night: Taking a sword out of its sheath takes on a whole new meaning!