Looking for a little structure for your poetry? Try a pantoum, a poem consisting of 16 lines and four stanzas. There is no rhyming requirement for a pantoum, but there is a certain order that the lines go in:
Stanza 1 Line 1
Stanza 2 Use Line 2 above as Line 5 here
Line 4 above as Line 7 here
Stanza 3 Line 6 above as Line 9 here
Line 8 above as Line 11 here
Stanza 4 Line 10 above as Line 13 here
New Line OR Line 3 aboce as Line 14 here
Line 12 as Line 15 here
New Line OR Line 1 as Line 16 here
If you’d rather see it in terms of letters, see below:
i OR c
j OR a
A few things to keep in mind:
1. The joy of pantoums is that you actually get to repeat lines, which saves you from having to think up new ones! But the rule also makes it a bit tricky, as a line may not be as versatile as you’d like.
2. Repeated lines can be altered slightly if need be.
3. Lines can be any length, but should be similar to one another. For example, you don’t want one line of five syllables and another line of fifteen.
For an example of a pantoum (sorry everyone, I couldn’t whip one up that fast for this post!), look at Charles Baudelaire’s “Harmonie du Soir”.
Wrote or already have an awesome pantoum? Add it as a comment under thist post, or better yet, submit it!