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Puttering in Poetry? Play with a Pantoum

The pantoum is a form of Malaysian poetry with interwoven quatrains. The second and fourth lines of each stanza reappear as the first and third lines of the next stanza. A pantoum can contain any number of stanzas. The final line often repeats the first line. Though the words are the same, ideally the meaning of lines shifts slightly when they are repeated.
Stanza 1 A B C D
Stanza 2 B E D F
Stanza 3 E G F H
Stanza 4 G I (or A or C) H J (or A or C)
As an example, here’s a pantoum Susan Lindsey shared at Women Who Write. Take a look and then try the form yourself. Bring your effort to the next meeting. We’ll have plenty o’ pantoums to ponder.
october-sky
October Sky

Slate clouds cluster in the eastern sky
Like plump, velvet cushions.
Clipped from the fuller arc,
A scrap of rainbow clings to the earth.

Like plump, velvet cushions,
Gray clouds perch atop coral and pink rolls.
A scrap of rainbow clings to the earth.
Lightning zigzags across the river.

Gray clouds perch atop coral and pink rolls.
Bad weather chases good.
Lightning zigzags across the river.
Thunder rumbles overhead.

Bad weather chases good
As autumn follows summer.
Thunder rumbles overhead.
Slate clouds cluster in the eastern sky.

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