The Pantoum
By T. Meldrum
April 2009
The Pantoum
Old Malayan verse form, often sung
Introduced into French poetry in the 19th
Century
Structured chain form
Can...
Usual Content
Rather like stream of consciousness
because of repetition of lines
Works well for memories, inner
exploratio...
Structure
Each line is used twice
Lines may be of varying lengths
Each stanza is a quatrain
There is a rhyme scheme of aba...
Structure
1 first
2
3
4

5
7
6
8

9
11
10
12

2
5
4
6

7
9
8
10

11
3
12
1 first

There can be
any number of
stanzas, but
...
Desert Dawning by Anne Johnson
The desert awakes with a whispered sigh.
A jackrabbit scurries through the brush
while far ...
My Own Breath - student pantoum
I can see my own breath
I can feel my own heart
beating in my own chest
faster than a go-k...
Dragons remind me of you - student poem
The snow falls softly to the ground
As I lie awake and think of you
Remembering wh...
sought, without sound
the tide pulls away
laying low to the ground
i go over my day.

or surrender to gods
keeping goals c...
Your Turn …
Brainstorm ideas involving memories,
journeys, dreams, circular ideas
Bonus – the next stanza is half written
...
Bibliography
University course handouts. 1996.
Unst, Ariade. “The Pantoum Verse
Form”. Accessed 2008.
http://baymoon.com/~...
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Pantoum

  1. 1. The Pantoum By T. Meldrum April 2009
  2. 2. The Pantoum Old Malayan verse form, often sung Introduced into French poetry in the 19th Century Structured chain form Can have any number of stanzas Revived by Victor Hugo in Les Orientals Later adopted by English poets
  3. 3. Usual Content Rather like stream of consciousness because of repetition of lines Works well for memories, inner exploration, dream-like ideas, making a circular statement Often feels slow, or dreamlike because of the repetition
  4. 4. Structure Each line is used twice Lines may be of varying lengths Each stanza is a quatrain There is a rhyme scheme of abab in each quatrain Traditionally, the first two lines of each quatrain present an image or an allusion; the second two lines of each quatrain convey the theme and meaning, and may not have an obvious connection with the first two lines
  5. 5. Structure 1 first 2 3 4 5 7 6 8 9 11 10 12 2 5 4 6 7 9 8 10 11 3 12 1 first There can be any number of stanzas, but fewer than four doesn’t allow the pattern to be seen.
  6. 6. Desert Dawning by Anne Johnson The desert awakes with a whispered sigh. A jackrabbit scurries through the brush while far above a raven cries. Dawn breaks from a frozen hush. A roadrunner darts across the sand in the shadow of a towering saguaro. As fiery warmth fills the land the cactus wren peers at a beetle below. A jackrabbit scurries through the brush bent on finding food to eat. Dawn breaks from a frozen hush, the cold chill of the night retreats. In the shadow of a towering saguaro a bevy of quail march by in a line. The cactus wren peers at a beetle below. On a sunny rock the lizard reclines. Bent on finding food to eat, a roadrunner darts across the sand. The cold chill of the night retreats as fiery warmth fills the land. Notice how it takes two lines to make complete sentence. A bevy of quail march by in a line while far above a raven cries. On a sunny rock the lizard reclines. The desert awakes with a whispered sigh. Notice the use of rhyme and how the lines repeat. There are small changes in some lines.
  7. 7. My Own Breath - student pantoum I can see my own breath I can feel my own heart beating in my own chest faster than a go-kart ...with my complacent distraction like a laugh from a cough I could chop like a fraction 'cause a half is a lot and I can feel my own heart racing and racing faster than a go-kart elapsing laps like pacing And like a laugh to a cough I'm feeling sadly mistaken 'cause a half is a lot in the path that I've taken racing and racing to my complacent distraction elapsing laps like pacing that I could chop like a fraction... I'm feeling sadly mistaken so my heart gets quick but in the path that I've taken I guess it is what it is So my heart gets quick Pumping in my own chest I guess it is what it is I can see My Own Breath
  8. 8. Dragons remind me of you - student poem The snow falls softly to the ground As I lie awake and think of you Remembering when you were always around From our imaginations, dragons and princesses grew As I lie awake and think of you Memories come flooding in From our imaginations, dragons and princesses grew Fighting and conquering, we would always win Memories keep flooding in We played, we danced, we ran, we sang Fighting and conquering we would win Announcing our victory with a mighty loud BANG We played, we danced, we ran, we sang Water guns held high in the air Announcing our victory with a mighty loud BANG Conquering dragons in their dark dungeon lair Water guns held high in the air Full of joy at our day's success Of conquering dragons in their dark dungeon lair Covered in dirt, a rip in my dress Full of joy at our day's success Smiling we left that world behind Covered in dirt, a rip in my dress We played all day, no regard for time Smiling we left that world behind Now memories left to reminisce We played all day, no regard for time Those days of ignorance I'll truly miss Now memories left to reminisce Remembering when you were always around Those days of ignorance I'll truly miss As the snow falls softly to the ground
  9. 9. sought, without sound the tide pulls away laying low to the ground i go over my day. or surrender to gods keeping goals clear but we fail against odds while the end remains near. the tide pulls away while the moon lights the sky i go over my day when the waves pass on by. keeping goals clear much deeper than coal while the end remains near they still want your soul. while the moon lights the sky some choose to settle their night when the waves pass on by the soft remain bright. much deeper than coal laying low to the ground they still want your soul sought, without sound. By e.r.w. some choose to settle their night or surrender to gods the soft remain bright but we fail against odds.
  10. 10. Your Turn … Brainstorm ideas involving memories, journeys, dreams, circular ideas Bonus – the next stanza is half written Usually you will need to revisit grammar and line breaks to make the lines work If the rhyme is too hard, don’t worry about it. Some people find rhyme easy, others don’t.
  11. 11. Bibliography University course handouts. 1996. Unst, Ariade. “The Pantoum Verse Form”. Accessed 2008. http://baymoon.com/~ariadne/form /pantoum.htm
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