A pantoum, Wikipedia explains, 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; the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next. This 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 punctuationpunning, or simply recontextualizing.

A four-stanza pantoum is common, and in the final stanza, you could simply repeat lines one and three from the first stanza, or write new lines. The pantoum “recipe” is as follows:

Stanza 1 A B C D (or A C B D)

Stanza 2 B E D F (or C E D F)

Stanza 3 E G F H

Stanza 4 G I (or A or C) H J (or A or C)


The pantoums received will be posted below – see Submissions to submit your pantoum. They should be reasonably family-friendly, not overtly gruesome or sexual. 🙂 Once accepted, it will be published on the home page with links here.

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