Poetry challenge Pantoum: the entries

This was a difficult one in that the form usually rhymes, and it must have rhythm to work well. Rhyme can be a big constraint. Either we don’t say what we want because the word doesn’t fit, or we torture the phrase into an abominable shape to get that rhyming word placed at the end of the line. But rhyme can also be a great tool, forcing us to extend our vocabulary, analysing exactly what we want to say and using a different way of saying it if the one that first springs to mind doesn’t work within the rhyme or metre pattern. As an exercise, it was definitely worth it, and some very good poems came out of it. Not all in the traditional song-like style, but thoughtful and gritty. In other words, there was, as usual, a wealth of different styles and interpretations of the form which I find so satisfying to read.

First in was Veronica Hosking with a clever pantoum that all makes sense, even to non-gamers, when you read the explanation at the end.

https://vhosking.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/pepper-panic-pantoum/

This second entry is for fans of The Boss. Great tribute;

https://vhosking.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/reminiscing-pantoum/

 

Then Ken with this little gem of a poem, obviously still enchanted by autumn.

Falling Leaves | rivrvlogr

Falling Leaves

Slowly drifting, turning ‘round
Riding on the faintest breeze
Floating past without a sound
Omen of a coming freeze

Riding on the faintest breeze
Vibrant hues of red and gold
Omen of a coming freeze
Season’s passing here foretold

Vibrant hues of red and gold
Gentle, still, upon a stream
Seasons passing, here foretold
A vessel now, so it would seem

Gentle, still upon a stream
Floating past without a sound
A vessel now, so it would seem
Slowly drifting, turning ‘round

Kim with a pantoum that manages to be lyrical as well as packing a message.

Man of the Marshes – writing in north norfolk

 

Geoff describes this as a ‘grim little piece’. I’d say that’s about spot on.

The hand that grips is senseless
Cruel fingers doing her bidding
Blank eyes wide open on her soul
Squeezing life out of my hand.

Cruel fingers doing her bidding
Screams of lust, demanding I have the answer
Squeezing the life out of my hand
Midwife bustles as if in Sainsburys.

Screams of lust demanding I have the answer;
Gulps of gas to deaden her agony.
Midwife bustles as if in Sainsburys,
Urging her to squeeze, me to hope.

Gulps of gas to deaden her agony
Pull away and feel the pain again,
Urging her to squeeze, me to hope.
Worried frowns, despair lurking in the corner.

Pull away and feel the pain again,
Slimy rush of mucus and daughter.
Worried frowns, despair lurking in the corner
Lifeless, gone before she came.

Slimy rush of mucus and daughter;
Blank eyes wide open on her soul.
Lifeless, gone before she came
The hand that grips is senseless.

 

Merril’s pantoum contains some of my favourite elements: robins and the night. Loved it.

The Robin Sang With The Night: Pantoum | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

 

Kerfe is another one who worries that a poem hasn’t worked. Funny lady. One of my favourites.

https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/contradiction/

 

Kat Myrman found it tricky, but she wrote a lovely pantoum that came perfectly full circle. Another poem with a big message.

Little Girls Read | like mercury colliding…

 

Doug’s pantoum is another of my favourites about the passing of time, tastes, and objectives.

The Round Table | Elusive Trope

 

Carol, with a delightfulyl damp, musical puddle pantoum.

Puddles~Pantoum – WritersDream9

 

Janice making gorgeous poetry out of an extremely unlikely subject.

Microscopic symbiosis – Ontheland

 

Sri sent in three pantoums. The first following the nine waves theme

https://srisudhak.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/nine-waves-pantoum/

the second an extended love poem

https://srisudhak.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/feel-my-love/

and the third is more nine waves.

https://srisudhak.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/nine-waves-phantoum-2/

 

The Crow didn’t bother with the rhyme, just wrote a thought-provoking poem that nagged at me long after I’d finished reading it. Great stuff.

Poem 20160313 – Caw!

 

Great poems from everybody. So different in style, content and aim, but all beautiful. Tomorrow’s challenge could be anything. I haven’t thought of one yet. Wish me luck.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “Poetry challenge Pantoum: the entries”

  1. As usual I enjoyed reading them all, but I must say when I saw what The Crow had done, I was impressed. He really turned the form on its head, and it works so well. I’m still thinking about it too. (K)

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