New To Me Poetry: Pantoum

Intrusions of the world muted: no T.V., no radio, no phone.
The quiet is deafening, no shouts or screams to cut my calm like knives.
The house is empty, and I finally have some peace and time alone!
Go fly solo; more should invite the muse of solitude in their lives!
 
The quiet is deafening, no shouts or screams to cut my calm like knives.
The children run around with friends, while Wife takes time to have a “girl’s night”.
Go fly solo; more should invite the muse of solitude in their lives.
“This time is mine,” I think, cigarette dangling as I search for a light.
 
The children run around with friends, while wife takes time to have a girl’s night.
Life catches up; everybody’s too busy for time with Dad, it seems.
“This time is mine!” I think, cigarette dangling as I search for a light.
It is funny how reality never matches up with our dreams.
 
Life catches up; everybody’s too busy for time with Dad, it seems.
Intrusions of the world muted: no T.V., no radio, no phone.
It is funny how reality never matches up with our dreams.
The house is empty and I finally have some peace and time alone.

***

For Paint The World With Words poetic form of the week: Pantoum. What is a Pantoum? Amreen has an explanation from Poets.org on her post, but I also found a different source with some differences in form at:

http://www.volecentral.co.uk/vf/pantoum.htm

There are several different ways to write a Pantoum, a form that originated in Malaysia. According to Bob Newman, who runs the site above, a “classical” Pantoum consists of an abba rhyme scheme, with a strict syllable count of 8 syllables per line, with the second and fourth line of a stanza serving as the first and third line of the next stanza. The whole thing loops around, and the first and third lines of the first stanza serve as the second and fourth of the last stanza.

A different source he quotes claims that a “classical” Pantoum consists of 4 stanzas of 4 lines, for a total of 16, and that rhyming is not required.

More modern forms, which is the form I did, have an abab pattern: the first line rhymes the third and the second line rhymes the fourth. The second and fourth lines of a stanza still serve as the first and third lines of the next, with the first and third lines of the first stanza serving as the second and last line (in this particular modern form, anyway).

There is another way to write a Pantoum. According to Poets.org:

However, as the pantoum spread, and Western writers altered and adapted the form, the importance of rhyming and brevity diminished. The modern pantoum is a poem of any length, composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The last line of a pantoum is often the same as the first.

So, here’s what I did:

I took the “classical” format of 4 stanzas of 4 lines each, for a total of 16 lines. I kept the requirement of the second and fourth lines of a stanza being the first and third lines of the next. For the ending stanza, I went with the first and third lines of the first stanza as the second and fourth lines. This means the last line will not be the same as the first. (Sorry, Poets.org, I liked the other way better)

To cap it off, I tried to do the whole thing in American Sentences, a form of American Haiku created by Allen Ginsberg. An American Sentence is 17 syllables and follows the same basic rules as Japanese Haiku, but is written in the Western linear fashion of left to right, instead of up and down.

Don’t know if I actually pulled that off or not, as this is my first time experimenting with them.

My Pantoum (American Pantoum?) breaks down as follows:

4 stanzas of 4 lines each

17 syllables per line in American Sentence style

2nd and 4th line of a stanza serves as 1st and 3rd of the next, except for the ending stanza. Ending stanza’s 2nd and 4th lines copy 1st and 3rd of the first stanza.

ABAB rhyme pattern.

Use different punctuation to change the meaning and tone of sentences.

Whew! I didn’t find this form too hard, but the varying ways it can be written can be dizzying. I took what I liked, threw in something different for “fun” and did my own thing. Find what you like and feel free to do the same. That’s one of the wonderful things about poetry.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

 

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9 thoughts on “New To Me Poetry: Pantoum

  1. I write free form because can’t wrap my head around all those different points. I take my hat off to you. The poem above is great and a true feeling of empty nest syndrome.

    • I can understand that, but I’m almost completely different. I like the forms with rules, it helps me focus to be within a structure 😀 I’m glad you liked the poem. Thank you!

  2. I really enjoyed it but I think I am dizzy. lol I am not good with so many rules. 😦

    • This one is a little bit different because there are so many, and some of them conflict. It took me a while to just say “the hell with it” and do what I wanted 😀 I’m glad you liked it!

  3. Indeed amazing! I understand this is a difficult form but still, I feel these constraints do make us better and test our versatility in a way. I think you have done an awesome job in writing this because this came to me like a free flow poem despite the fact that it is wrapped under rules. Victory!!!

    Thanks J. for your participation. I am really glad you did this!

    Regards,
    Amreen

  4. […] “New to me-Poetry” Pantoum for Week 10 Challenge […]

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