YOU can write a Pantoum

Would you like to learn a new way to CREATE  a poem?

Why not think of your FAVORITE WORD and let’s see where we can go from there.

Let’s write a PANTOUM.

What is a Pantoum?

The Pantoum is a verse form that originated in France in the nineteenth century. It was influenced by the Malayan Pantum verse form.

 

The first two lines of each quatrain present an image or an illusion.

The second two lines of each quatrain convey the theme and meaning and may not necessarily have an obvious connection with the first two lines.

 

HOW to GET STARTED on your Pantoum Poem?

 

I like this form because it repeats everything twice. This gives the poem a feeling of the passage of time; it slows down the pace and gives the sense that there is some “breathing space” when it is read. . Breath is an important consideration in your poems.  Try to write in a way that gives the reader a pause.  The Pantoum will do this due to its continuous repetition.  

This form is cyclical rather than linear.  It’s the perfect form for themes such as Nature, the recurring seasons, history, mythology, and reflection on memories.

 The first thing to do will be to choose a theme that will work with the repetition of the form.

 Group the lines into quatrains (4-line stanzas)

The final line of the LAST  QUATRAIN  in the  Pantoum will be the SAME  as the FIRST LINE  in the first quatrain.  

The poem may have any number of quatrains.

this gives you ample opportunities to write your story.

Lines can be any length.

The Pantoum can rhyme or not. I prefer for my poems to NOT rhyme because I don’t want to limit  the possibilities or force restrictions on the imagery. 

If you choose to rhyme the Pantoum, then it will be “abab” in each quatrain.

 

 

 

How to Write the Form?

Let’s begin now!

 

Write a four line quatrain following the advice I have given above.

 

For the 2nd quatrain:

Lines 2 and 4 of the first quatrain will become lines 1 and 3 in the second quatrain. Then, write lines 1 and 3 of this quatrain.

 

 You will repeat this form and create as many quatrains as you need for your poem.

 

How to END your Pantoum?

 

For the FINAL QUATRAIN:

Line 1:  Repeat line 2 of the quatrain above your FINAL quatrain.

 

Line 2:  Repeat line 3 of the FIRST quatrain.

Line 3: Repeat Line 4 of the quatrain above the final quatrain.

Line 4:  Repeat Line 1 of the first quatrain. (Your Pantoum begins and ends

          with the same line.

 

 

Make sure when you write that first opening line of your poem that it is powerful enough to be the ending thought in your poem.

 

Here is my EXAMPLE of a Pantoum. I wrote it this week. I chose my favorite word, “Hirsch” as the image I wanted to write about in this poem.

“Hirsch” is the German word for “deer.” It is my FAVORITE word. 

 *******

“der Hirsch”

Blog_2014_October_Deer_Photo

 

Aubergine fields reflect the Red Blood Moon.

Throughout, a bracing October night.

Transformed, Yellow Crownbeard’s lemon-flowers

Turned to thorny, dark, violet-brown seed pods.

 

 

Throughout a bracing October night

“I sense slight movements near the Willow tree.”

Turned to thorny, dark, violet-brown seed pods.

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

 

 

“I sense slight movements near the Willow tree.”

Listen to swift waters surging downstream

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

der Hirsch strides silently on damp fall leaves.

 

 

Listen to swift waters surging downstream

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

der Hirsch strides silently on damp leaves

“I long to follow you – Come away my beloved!”

 

Blog_RedBloodMoon_

“Tonight, we watch the sky for celestial clues.”

Transformed, Yellow Crownbeard’s lemon-flowers

“I long to follow you – Come away my beloved!”

Aubergine fields reflect the Red Blood Moon.

 

 

_____ by Lynda McKinney Lambert_____

Written October 2014

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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