Pantoum

Sometimes you have to plan ahead.

You plan what’s coming down the line.

You can’t just write what’s in your head.

You have to plan to make it rhyme.

 

You plan what’s coming down the line.

Choose words that rhyme as well as scan.

You have to plan to make it rhyme.

It will not work unless you can.

 

Choose words that rhyme as well as scan.

You must make sure you’ve thought it through.

It will not work unless you can

choose words that fit, have meaning too.

 

You must make sure you’ve thought it through.

So plan the end as you commence.

Choose words that fit, have meaning too;

You must make sure it all makes sense.

 

So plan the end as you commence.

You can’t just write what’s in your head

You must make sure it all makes sense.

Sometimes you have to plan ahead.

The pantoum is a form of poetry similar to a villanelle in that there are repeating lines throughout the poem. It is composed of a series of quatrains and the second and  fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third verse of the next. The pattern continues for any number of stanzas, except for the final stanza, which differs in the repeating pattern. The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate; the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza, and the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final. Ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same: this can be done by shifting punctuation, punning, or simply recontextualizing.

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