Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Pantoum...

A PANTOUM is a poetic form that first appeared in the 15th century, in Malayan literature.  The Western version is a poem of indefinite length, made up of stanzas of four lines repeated in a pattern:  lines 2 and 4 are repeated as lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza, and on and on.

The final stanza has a twist: the 1st and 3rd lines are repeated as usual from the stanza above, the 2nd and 4th lines are the same as the 3rd and 1st lines of the 1st stanza.  Confusing enough?  I have to practically use a road map to get it straight.  But I do like the rhythm that starts to appear, and the results that couldn't happen unless the form was followed.  I find a ghostly theme to fit this form quite well.


Ghosts are more limited than we are.
You may think the opposite is true,
and consider walking through walls
to be a higher gift than dancing.

You may think the opposite is true,
that eternity adrift is a prize,
to be a higher gift than dancing,
as you float along a chilly wall.

That eternity adrift is a prize,
a bit of mischief and nothing more.
As you float along a chilly wall,
it seems a skill like the tango.

A bit of mischief and nothing more.
Hips swaying on the dance floor,
it seems a skill like the tango,
the illusion of walking on air.

Hips swaying on the dance floor,
they say to follow the light,
the illusion of walking on air,
tapping floors to send out a shiver.

They say to follow the light.
An itinerant gliding back,
tapping floors to send out a shiver.
Floating like grey silk up the mortal coil.

An itinerant gliding back,
and consider walking through walls,
floating like grey silk up the mortal coil.
Ghosts are more limited than we are.

@copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010


Tess Kincaid said...

Thanks for the introduction to Pantoum, Lyn. What a lovely piece, the rhythm is wonderful. It pairs perfectly with your ghostly theme!

Lo said...

Oh my! That is breathtakingly wonderful.....I love it.

Would you do another some day?

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
Thank you..I have favored this form from time to time, because it can turn anything into a poem!!

Lyn said...

Hi Lo-
You are so kind! I have several in my book of poetry and might copy a few..or write another..

Carrie Van Horn said...

I love the meaning behind the is a gliding dance in itself. Lovely post. Thank you!

Lyn said...

Hi Carrie-
Thank for your visit and for your lovely words...Yes to dance!!

alaine@éclectique said...

Gosh, I'd need a GPS! I love your example!

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

I'm familiar with your skills in this form! And there is a skill in writing just the right lines for the repetition to build. This one works very well!

Lyn said...

Hi Alaine-
Thank does rattle my brain a bit!

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
Thanks, Derrick..the right lines sometime become very weird and have to be totally changed..but that's sort of the fun!

Butternut Squash said...

I haven't seen this before, I love it. You make it seem so easy and I really enjoy the story you tell. I will have to try playing with this form.

Lyn said...

Hi Butternut-
Oh please do try this..I can't wait to see the results!! Thanks...

Kat Mortensen said...

Dear Lyn, I fear I have been neglectful of your blog, of late (you are in good company). I've been so caught up in my own endeavours that I've been remiss.

This is a stunning piece and of course you know I will HAVE to try one as I love these sorts of forms.

I've needed a bit of spur lately and I think this could be it, so thank you!

All the best,


Lyn said...

Hi Kat-
So good to hear from you again..we all need a prompt from time to time to get glad that you enjoyed this...thanks!!

Deedee said...

Nice, Lyn! Thanks for your comments and inquires on my blog- I am fortunate to have followers like you. Loved this entry- so ethereal and thought provoking!

Lyn said...

Hi Deedee-
How exciting to hear from you..thanks for your kind words...I can't wait to welcome you back to your excellent blog!!

joanna said...


I learned some thing new today, Pantoum, sweet.

A nice cadence flows through this poem. Very creative and enchanting,you have the right tone and style down perfectly.

I also like the story you choose to write about, that in itself is magical.


Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

you know things better..

your poem is very skilfully done!

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

some treats,
3 for poetry,
2 for general blogging.
Happy Monday!

Lyn said...

Hi Jingle-
Thanks for your very kind comments and for your everlasting generousity!!


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