Kaddish, or: Kaddish.com

A ‘Cento’ poem


  • Kaddish by Leon Wieseltier, 2000 (p. 18) [in italics]
  • Kaddish.com by Nathan Englander, 2019 (p. 18) [in bold]


Sabbath arrives- committed disbelief
in worship, mikvah-dipping, synagogue-
attending, my spiritual purpose
part in parcel with transliteration
of the prayer; the very same things in
the very same way- the customs that would
end with the moment, a juncture, evening,
morning, and afternoon flecks of gray words
and like-minded, kosher brothers, tribespeople,
the unblind... a different kind of faith.

d’Verse poetry prompt: Patchworking some prose

This ‘cento’ was written for yesterday’s d’Verse poetry prompt, which was as follows:

  1. Choose TWO books of prose
  2. Pick ONE page from each
  3. Extract SHORT LINES from each page*
  4. ALTERNATE them to make a poem
  5. Use italics and plain font to differentiate the text sources
  6. Use one of the source lines or a combination as TITLE

Stick to these guidelines:

  • DO NOT ADD ANYTHING of your own to the lines
  • You may use enjambment
  • You could split the poem into stanzas
  • CITE YOUR SOURCES with author, book title and page number

*short lines mean you are not taking too much from the source in plagiarism

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

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