Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Workshop: Pantoum Me!

The pantoum, a poetic form in which whole lines are repeated, seems appropriate for Halloween season. The finished product often has the feel of a spell about it, a little "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble." And many times writing a pantoum feels like an act of magic...the way the lines fit and meaning transforms from stanza to stanza, the way you always seem to know when it's done. So if you're feeling witchy or warlocky, I suggest you work a little magic and compose a pantoum of your own.

First the rules...

1. Write a first stanza.
2. The second and fourth lines become the first and third lines of stanza two, like thus:

A
B
C
D

B
E
D
F

3. Repeat this pattern for subsequent stanzas, thusly:

B
E
D
F

E
G
F
H

4. The final stanza re-conjures those forgotten lines from stanza one:

G
C
H
A

You end where you began...got it? Good.

Glam Rock Pantoum

What happened to the skinny boys?
David Bowie strutting skin-and-bone thighs
as the Goblin King, in snakeskin gray,
his balls rising like a heart between ribs.

David Bowie strutting skin-and-bone thighs
on stage, singing Ziggy played guitar,
his balls rising like a heart between ribs,
a barking tree frog in white branches.

On stage, singing Ziggy played guitar,
forearms strungwith g-string veins.
A barking tree frog in white branches,
the artery swelled in his neck when he sang.

Forearms strung with g-string veins.
Hipbones pointing like triggers.
The artery swelled in his neck when he sang,
I thought I could wrap my mouth around it.

Hipbones pointing like triggers,
as the Goblin King, in snakeskin gray,
I thought I could wrap my mouth around them.
What happened to the skinny boys?

1 comment:

Donna Cappello said...

Katie I really like this. I'm going to have Rosie read it. Bowie is her man!