Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So I Got it Backwards

sunset tilted


I decided to try writing a pantoum.

Except I trusted my memory.

Never trust your memory with something like a pantoum. Especially not a few days before Thanksgiving, when you are busy wrestling with a fridge that should have been cleaned out... more than a few days before Thanksgiving.

However, be encouraged. You didn't wait until Christmas to clean your fridge. And your weariness and busyness simply resulted in a backwards pantoum. By all estimates, the stuffing and mashed potatoes and pies are still going to be okay, though you won't rest completely assured until Thursday has come and gone.

A pantoum is supposed to go like this. Stanzas of four lines (as many as you like), where you keep taking lines 2 and 4 and turning them into the next stanza's 1st and 3rd. When you are ready to finish, you supply your last stanza's 1st and 3rd in the usual way and you grab your very first stanza's 1st line and make it the 4th, and the 3rd and make it the 2nd.

Now, do you see why you can't trust your memory with something like a pantoum? Mine turned out backwards, or upside down, or something like that, so I'll give you some links to real pantoums when it's all over. In the meantime, my backwards pantoum...

On the Walnut Dresser

White phone is in love
with whispering fan— old
fashioned, it turns away,
gazes through wires

at the pale yellow room
white phone is in love
with a silver neck, so
fashioned, it turns away

where a dying sun long has gazed
at the pale yellow room,
mirrored and walled
with a silver neck, so

still it cannot move
where a dying sun long has gazed
at mornings that silent break.
Mirrored and walled,

fashioned, it turns away,
still it cannot move.
White phone is in love,
at morning's silent break.

This post is offered for One Shot Wednesday. Photo by L.L. Barkat.

Examples of Right-Side Up Pantoums

Evening Harmony, Charles Baudelaire
Stillbirth, Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Parent's Pantoum, Carolyn Kizer

Thanks to poet Kim Addonizio for the idea of making one item be in love with another. Also, it is not her fault I wrote a backwards pantoum. She explained it splendidly, should I have taken the time to consult the explanation. :)

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Anonymous Maureen said...

Your third paragraph is in contention with my friend Jay's first in his post this morning on conventions and the conventional.

No matter the form, your poem is lyrical. I like a lot the idea of pairing objects. May have to try it.

10:54 AM  
Blogger David Rupert said...

That is talented. I wouldn't know where to start.

I prefer to put my pants on like every one else, thank you. :)

11:08 AM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

It is a lovely poem, no matter the structure - I'm afraid my brain is running circles trying to think how I would write one!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It hurts contemplating how to do it.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm with Sam...it makes my eyes want to cross and my head ache. However, I think you did a brilliant job whichever order you put things in. You have my deepest admiration!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

7:55 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

So, maybe you've created an
"apantoum", or an oppopantoum"!

I've left my link for On, In and Around Monday.


11:00 PM  
Blogger Beachanny said...

I don't think it matters ..I've only written one sestina..and I got it wrong but it's been wrong a long time and now I love it. I love this too, there's a symmetry in the circuitry that's pleasing. Thanks,

1:56 AM  
Blogger One Stop - The Place For Poets, Writers and Artists said...

ok....i read your intro and thought...what??? so i left the page..then came back when my mind was clear and read the poem onky as a poem in its own right..was magnificent..then i read it taken into account the style you used...i doff my cap to genius..well done and thanks for sharing with One Shot


5:53 AM  
Blogger Jenne' R. Andrews said...

This is, not to make a bad pun, so very animated-- the form and your dalliance with it as well as the juxtaposition of the "things" you deploy here are wonderful! xj

5:57 AM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

This is awesome -- and yeah-- I'm with some of the others... the idea of creating such a poetic verse is daunting!

9:00 AM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

Well, I enjoy it!

10:48 AM  
Blogger dustus said...

Wonderfully done. Thanks for the introduction to the form—your lines also inspire to give it a try! Cheers

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i see a deep butter yellow wall
all aglow with a warm morning sun

6:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

wishing you and your family a Thanksgiving of peace and simple and together, L.L.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Shashidhar Sharma said...

This one is great.. its so powerful...thanks for sharing...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

11:18 PM  
Blogger Brock S. Henning said...

L.L., as always, I love the education you provide with your works. I'm learning quite a lot reading your blog! :)

12:31 AM  

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