IN-FORM POET – PANTOUM

The PANTOUM consists of a series of quatrains rhyming ABAB, in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third line in the succeeding quatrain; each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD… In the last quatrain, the two unused lines from the opening quatrain are used to fill in the last stanza, with the first line of the poem becomes the last line of the poem (ZAZA). Walt’s example illustrates this traditional form of PANTOUM.

A variation of the PANTOUM loses the restrictions of the rhyme scheme as Marie Elena demonstrates.

MARIE ELENA’S PANTOUM:

Knitting Pantoums

It sounds like something I should knit.
I don’t know how
to knit a pair of pantoums.
It has me in stitches.

I don’t know how
my pantoums slipped off.
It has me in stitches.
Should I pick up and purl?

My pantoums slipped off
Don’t needle me.
Should I pick up and purl?
Just cast off?

Don’t needle me,
or I’ll unravel.
Just cast off.
Yarn over.

WALT’S PANTOUM:

MORE RAPID THAN EAGLES

I am Santa Claus, and we’re off in a leap and a bound,
there is no more playing games.
Get down to business and up off the ground,
just at the mere mention of their names.

There is no more playing games,
when they’re harnessed and driven.
Just at the mere mention of their names,
all their energies will be given.

When they’re harnessed and driven,
no crack of whip will entice them.
All their energies will be given,
there’ll be no need to de-ice them.

No crack of whip will entice them,
all of their names are their trigger.
There’ll be no need to de-ice them,
this workout only makes them seem bigger.

All of their names are their trigger,
on Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen.
This workout only makes them seem bigger,
Comet and Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.

On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen,
quickly give me the power I crave.
Comet and Cupid, Donder and Blitzen,
please release the reserve that you’ve saved.

Quickly give me the power I crave.
I must get this done in one night.
Please release the reserve that you’ve saved,
you’ll need it to get through this flight.

I must get this done in one night,
on this journey of spirit and love.
You’ll need it to get through this flight,
more rapid than eagles they are up above.

On this journey of spirit and love,
get down to business and up off the ground.
More rapid than eagles they are up above,
I am Santa Claus, and we’re off in a leap and a bound.