Pantoum

The pantoum is a series of quatrains that use an ABAB rhyme scheme. In a pantoum the 2nd and 4th lines of a quatrain recur as the 1st and 3rd lines in the subsequent quatrain. Each succeeding quatrain introduces a second rhyme as BCBCCDCD. The 1st line of the series recurs as the last line of the final quatrain. The 3rd line of the poem recurs as the 2nd line of the final quatrain. The rhyme scheme of the closing quatrain is ZAZA.

To simplify:
Line 1 (A)
Line 2 (B)
Line 3 (A)
Line 4 (B)

Line 5 (repeat of line 2) (B)
Line 6 (C)
Line 7 (repeat of line 4) (B)
Line 8 (C)

The number of stanzas is up to the poet. The final stanza repeats the 2nd and 4th lines of the previous stanza. It also repeats the 3rd line of the 1st stanza as its 2nd line. It then repeats the 1st line of the 1st stanza as the final line of the poem. The 1st and last lines of the poem are the same.

Last Stanza:
Line 2 of previous stanza (Z)
Line 3 of first stanza (A)
Line 4 of previous stanza (Z)
Line 1 of first stanza (A)

The links below each contain a separate example of pantoum poetry:

Ill-fated Quest by Carrie Page

If Only I Could Fly by Carrie Page

Time Heals? by Carrie Page

 

Do you have an example of a pantoum poem you’d like to share? Leave a link to it in the comments!

OOPS! Did you find an error? Please let me know. Leave a comment.

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