Runaway Story Rescued by Ancient Poetic Technique

The Western version of the pantoum is a poem of indefinite length made up of stanzas whose four lines are repeated in a pattern: lines 2 and lines 4 of each stanza are repeated as lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza, and so on, as shown below:

Line 1
Line 2
Line 3
Line 4

Line 5 – same as line 2
Line 6
Line 7 – same as line 4
Line 8

Line 9 – same as line 6
Line 10
Line 11 – same as line 8
Line 12

And so on.

Sometimes the final stanza has a neat twist: although it fist and third lines are as usual the same as the second and fourth lines in the stanza above it, its second and fourth lines are the same as the third and first lines of the very first stanza. This way, every line in the poem is used twice, and the first line of the poem is the same as the last. Rhyme is optional . . .

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poetic form fun

I just spent 21 days writing from prompts by Maya Stein’s online writing course. I excavated a lot of material from my writings and am renewed, inspired, and ready to write more. (Postings to come)!

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