2012-08-17

Passion For Poetry


Pantoum

This form originated in Malaysia but because it reached us via France it is often mistaken for a French form. Originally a short folk-type poem made up of couplets, it underwent many changes during its transition.

It's written in any number of quatrains with an abab rhyme scheme. The second and fourth lines of the first stanza appear as the first and third lines of the second stanza. The second and fourth lines of the second stanza appear as the first and third lines of the third stanza. This pattern repeats until the final stanza, in which the first line is a repeat of the second line of the previous stanza, the second line is a repeat of the third line of the first stanza, the third line is a repeat of the fourth line of the previous stanza, and the fourth line is a repeat of the first line of the first stanza.

Got that now? ;-)

It's easier than it looks at first glance. :

Stanza 1
Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4

Stanza 2
Line 2 repeated
Line 5
Line 4 repeated
Line 6

Stanza 3
Line 5 repeated
Line 7
Line 6 repeated
Line 8

Final Stanza
Line 7 repeated
Line 3 repeated
Line 8 repeated
Line 1 repeated

Still confused? Maybe it'll be easier with an example:


THE TEST

There’s magic in the air tonight;
The air is thick with expectation
On such a night my soul takes flight;
my heart fills with anticipation.

The air is thick with expectation;
The moon is riding high tonight.
My soul fills with anticipation,
I have one chance to get this right

The moon is riding high tonight,
A glow lights up the ring of stone.
I have on chance to get this right,
This must be done by me alone

A glow lights up the ring of stone.
The time is growing closer still;
This must be done by me alone
I have to prove I’m strong of will.

The time is growing closer still,
I hope I live to tell the tale.
I have to prove I’m strong of will;
The die is cast, I cannot fail.

I hope I live to tell the tale;
On such a night my soul takes flight,
The die is cast, I cannot fail.
There’s magic in the air tonight.

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