As we begin preparations (I know of a guy who is twenty-four days away from one hundred poems to Christmas) for the big season, we see the staple of most Christmas tables rising to the top. CHRISTMAS COOKIES are on our minds and so we will use that as fodder for our poetic pursuits, incorporating them into our poetic form which is the 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



Christmas cookies crisp and sweet,
sitting piled on a plate,
you look way too good to eat
and I sure bet you taste great

Sitting piled on a plate
you are the best, I’m sure by far.
And, I sure bet you taste great,
but you are for the church bazaar.

You are the best, I’m sure by far,
in fact you smell delicious.
But you are for the church bazaar,
eating you is against mom’s wishes.

It’s a fact, you smell delicious,
Christmas cookies crisp and sweet.
Eating you is against mom’s wishes,
you look way too good to eat.

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2020