Poetry Corner

This past May I had the honour and privilege of attending a personal week of retreat at Queenswood here in Victoria, BC, Canada. What an amazing opportunity and experience! In the quiet and beauty of this secluded area, I spent the majority of time in meditation – walking, reading, writing – listening and feeling. Even meals were a time of silence if I chose the earliest sitting.

I found myself drawn to the library (open 24 hours) late one evening and discovered a new author, Wendy Morton. She is a local woman, from Sooke, BC here on Vancouver Island. Her book “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast” practically fell into my hands from an upper shelf display as I walked by. Through this book and her shared story and writings, Wendy has inspired me to perform spontaneous, playful ‘Random Acts of Poetry’.

In Wendy’s book (definitely a worth read!!!!!), she describes a style of poetry I’d never heard of before – Pantoum. It is a French form of poetry with ‘an intricate pattern of line repetition’.

Since that day, I’ve found myself using the Pantoum style any time I want to delve deeper into a concept. I’ve used it to expand ideas, to open myself up when blocked about something, to more fully explore a fabulous emotional response to a person or situation. Basically, when I want to understand my own self better, I take a thought or idea and ‘pantoum’ it!

Here’s the functional intricacy:  Start with a 4-line stanza.

1.
2.
3.
4.

Then when you go to write the second 4-line stanza, repeat two of the lines written in the first stanza:

2.
5.
4.
6.

Same thing with the 3rd stanza. Repeat two of the lines in the second stanza

5.
7.
6.
8.

And so on…finishing up with the last line of your poem being the same as the first line of it!

7.
9.
8.
10.

9.
3.
10.
1.

Here’s an example from one of my own…in fact, my very first ever pantoum!

1. Each day a new start
2. A fresh new beginning
3. A chance to improve
4. To aim for perfection.

2. A fresh new beginning
5. A pure white, clean slate
4.  To aim for perfection
6.  As I move through my day.

5. A pure white, clean slate
7. That demands being filled
6. As I move through my day
8. Creating artistic endeavours.

7. That demand being filled
9. To the fullest, the best
8. Creating artistic endeavours
10. Gentle heart, soft smile.

9. To the fullest, the best
3. A chance to improve
10. Gentle heart, soft smile
1. Each day a new start.

Should you feel inclined to try the style yourself, do so! I heartily encourage it!

Should you care to share what you write, I’d be honoured to have you send it my way – no judgements, simply the savouring of you through the blessings of your own work.

Write On!

In Light & Laughter,

Marcia

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