Pantoum Song

On the subject of verse which is similar to song, I thought I would explore pantoums, and perhaps try to create one for Stirred next month.

A pantoum is a repetitive form of poem, the second and fourth line of a stanza become the first and third line of the next stanza, each stanza is four lines long. The last stanza brings us back the the beginning, the un-used second and fourth line in the first stanza become the first and third line in the last stanza, so the poem in effect is of a collection of echoes, every word is reused. It is a doubled up poem, a mirror image poem.

I became interested in pantoum’s from reading Marilyn Hacker’s, but only recently started researching the form. Apparently it derives from a Malay song form and was adapted by the French, of course! The malay song form version was called a pantun, and seems more concerned with an abab rhyme scheme, and a distance in meaning between the two line patterns… then the interweaving quatrains were pounced upon by Western culture. Wikipedia says the interweaving quatrains are pantun berkait.

Famous pantoum: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/12/she-put-on-her-lipstick-in-the-dark/6439/ 

She Put on Her Lipstick in the Dark

I really did meet a blind girl in Paris once.
It was in the garden of a museum,
Where I saw her touching the statues.
She had brown hair and an aquamarine scarf.

It was in the garden of the museum.
I told her I was a thief disguised as a guard.
She had brown hair and an aquamarine scarf.
She told me she was a student from Grenoble.

I told her I was not a thief disguised as a guard.
We had coffee at the little commissary.
She said she had time till her train to Grenoble.
We talked about our supreme belief in art.

We had coffee at the little commissary,
Then sat on a bench near the foundry.
We talked about our supreme belief in art.
She leaned her head upon my chest.

We kissed on a bench near the foundry.
I closed my eyes when no one was watching.
She leaned her head upon my chest.
The museum was closing. It was time to part.

I really did meet a blind girl in Paris once.
I never saw her again and she never saw me.
In a garden she touched the statues.
She put on her lipstick in the dark.

I close my eyes when no one is watching.
She had brown hair and an aquamarine scarf.
The museum was closing. It was time to part.
I never saw her again and she never saw me.

 

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About

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in BeccaAudra, Ramblings

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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