Sunday, July 02, 2006

Pantoum

Sometimes when I'm bored, I write a pantoum. According to Poetry Form, "the Pantoum became popular in Europe and later North America in the nineteeth and especially the twentieth century."

"[It]. . . first appeared in France, in the work of Ernest Fouinet in the nineteenth century. Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire made the form fashionable. For more on this history and for examples of the Pantoum, see The Making of a Poem, edited by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland."

Here's the format:

1 2 3 4 - Lines in first quatrain.
2 5 4 6 - Lines in second quatrain.
5 7 6 8 - Lines in third quatrain.
7 9 8 10 - Lines in fourth quatrain.
9 3 10 1 - Lines in fifth and final quatrain.

Here's today's stab at one:

1 I'll show you my gleaming scars
2 Take notes
3 Later we can compare
4 Ridges and bumps and bruises and puckers

2 Take notes
5 Smooth bodies don't interest me
4 Ridges and bumps and bruises and puckers
6 Thrill me at their sight

5 Smooth bodies don't interest me
7 I want to know you've lived
6 Thrill me at their sight
8 Ask me your hardest question

7 I want to know you've lived
9 And while we're talking truth
8 Ask me your hardest question
10 If you don't believe me

9 And while we're talking truth
3 Later we can compare
10 If you don't believe me
1 I'll show you my gleaming scars

Now you try.

1 comment:

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