Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - Pantoum

This week's stretch is a real S-T-R-E-T-C-H. The form I have decided to tackle is the pantoum. I have read a great deal about this form and found many variations. I am not going to try and do this one in rhyme, though you can if you want to attempt it. Are you ready? Here's the form.
The pantoum is a poem made up of stanzas of four lines where lines 2 and 4 of each stanza are repeated as lines 1 and three of the next stanza. The final stanza of a pantoum has an interesting twist. Lines 2 and 4 are the same as the 3rd and 1st of the first stanza, thereby using every line in the poem twice.

Here is an outline for a pantoum with 4 stanzas.
Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4

Line 2
Line 5
Line 4
Line 6

Line 5
Line 7
Line 6
Line 8

Line 7
Line 3Line 8
Line 1

Keep in mind that this form of poetry is of an indefinite length. It could be three stanzas, 4 stanzas or 20!
(Adapted from The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms.)
A fine example of a pantoum is this one by Randall Mann. It has 6 stanzas.

Pantoum

If there is a word in the lexicon of love,
it will not declare itself.
The nature of words is to fail
men who fall in love with men.

It will not declare itself,
the perfect word. Boyfriend seems ridiculous:
men who fall in love with men
deserve something a bit more formal.



I hope you'll join me this week in writing a pantoum. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

3 comments:

  1. YIN AND YANG

    I crave both
    the comfort of routine
    and the thrill
    of unknowns.

    The comfort of routine:
    the well-worn path through a day full
    of unknowns,
    surprises at every turn.

    The well-worn path through a day, full.
    And the thrill --
    surprises at every turn.
    I crave both.

    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lainy

    Lainy’s having a mid-life crisis.
    She scheduled it for Wednesday
    because the kids could go to their grandma’s.
    She decided not to tell anyone,

    she just scheduled it for Wednesday.
    She was in a hurry and wasn’t sure how—
    she decided not to tell anyone.
    Should she eat ice cream? Cry? Go sailing?

    She was in a hurry and wasn’t sure how
    even with the kids at their grandma’s.
    Should she eat ice cream? Cry? Go sailing?
    Lainy’s having a mid-life crisis.

    —Kate Coombs, 2014
    all rights reserved

    ReplyDelete
  3. GETTING OUT OF YOUR WAY
    I don’t know where I want to go,
    I don’t know what to see,
    I don’t know if this will ever stop –
    What is wrong with me?

    I don’t know what to see
    There’s so much to gaze upon,
    What is wrong with me?
    I ramble on and on.

    There’s so much to gaze upon –
    How will I ever get through it?
    What is wrong with me?
    All I have to do is get to it.

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

    ReplyDelete