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Submitted on
October 23, 2012
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You'll always come back to me
when the lights in the far hills
are done searching. For, new beds

entice adventurers. Too,
when the lights in the far hills
come home, the homespun dream they

entice adventurers too,
but they can't. (Dream we're neither.
Come home.) The homespun dream they

turn pioneers to homebodies,
but they can't dream we're neither,
our wanderlust fit to turn

pioneers to homebodies.
We've always made love free, so
our wanderlust fit. To

turn ourselves towards our home
we've always made love. Free. So
when the last adventurers

turn themselves toward their homes
in faraway lands, I know,
when the last adventurers

are done searching for new beds
in faraway lands, I know
you'll always come back to me.
Before reading this explanation, do yourself a favour and look up the meaning of the form of a pantoum on wikipedia. It's a complicated poetry form that they've described perfectly there.


Another piece on the theme of polyandry, I wanted this to be the poem I gave Simone on our last anniversary, but I couldn't get past the first two stanzas. I thought about the piece now and again over the months, but certain first draft lines were making the construction of the pantoum extremely vexing. I knew I wanted the first and third lines as they appear here, but, the second and fourth lines needed work, and so the sixth and the eighth lines were torturous, and so on.

A pantoum is a chain that cannot suffer a weak link. That's part of why I love the form, but also a big part of why it's so hard to sit yourself down and crank out the creativity. For this piece to get done I had to force myself not to read my book(s) on my lunch breaks at work, and to not think about anything walking to or from work for a few days. And basically to completely rewrite the piece, starting with the first line.

I hope you agree that it was worth it.

I sure think so. Since I kind of invented a new form of pantoum here.

As I hope you read on Wikipedia, a pantoum is divided into ballad-esque stanzas, and I've changed that into three-line groupings. But I've kept the schema of repeating lines in tact, so in order to keep the poem made up of full three-line groups, the whole piece has to present in multiples of twelve. I don't have a name for this form, but maybe a "Haiku Pantoum" would be fun, or "Dodecapantoum" to echo the dodecatina (the twelve-line variation on the sestina).

Something else that turned out to work really well in this piece, I thought, was what happened between the fourth and fifth stanzas. Every line in the piece has seven syllables in the line, except the first line of the fourth stanza which has eight, and the third line of the fifth stanza, with six syllables.

This was done to balance the equation, but look at the word "turn" which appears, as the beginning and ending word of the fourth, transitory stanza. So, the centre word of the poem, if you will, is the word "turn", and gives the feeling of movement from one half to the next.

In haiku, a turn word or "cutting" word is the word that heralds the separation of the first phase from the second phase of the poem. There's an actual list of words acceptable as cutting/turn words that poets would use skillfully to deepen meaning. How Japanese is it, to have a database of acceptable words to be used for a poetic function?

Anyway, I thought it was neat how the actual word "turn" in my poem took on a similar function, and I submit this "Haiku Pantoum," as it were, for consideration to any other poets in need a good form challenge.

I gave this to Simone sort of retroactively the week before I left for Hamilton to launch my first book, In the Wings, from the Redeemer College University cafeteria (we sold out our first run of 500 copies!). And now it's only one month til our next, seventh anniversary.

Back to the drawing board!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-11-22
Come Home: A Pantoum by ~sandzen is a wonderful exploration of form to express the writer's love for their significant other for an anniversary. ( Featured by Nichrysalis )
:worship: Hello! This wonderful piece of yours has been featured here: [link]
sandzen Apr 23, 2013   General Artist
Aw...I'm sure you'll write even better works. But I thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)
deinktvis Apr 1, 2013  Student Writer
erm...pantoums are traditionally written with four line stanzas and interweaving refrained lines. otherwise, nice work.
sandzen Apr 6, 2013   General Artist
I see you're a puritan. Well, the evolution of poetry often requires that rules be bent, broken, or augmented in order to express something new through something established. To be both part of a movement and to stand out as something unique.

Mark Strand, poet, and editor of The Making of a Poem, one of the great compilations of modern form poems, includes pantoums that not only don't quite adhere to even the basic interweaving refrained lines (unlike what you see in my haiku pantoum above, if can trick your eye to see the four-line groupings), but the repeated lines don't even resemble one another. This is particularly true of the works Parents' Pantoum and The Method by Carolyn Kizer and J. D. McClathy respectively. Look for them online. Both of those poems feature lines that repeat only in the auditory sense, or in the figurative sense.

You and I don't disagree as much as you think about the form of the pantoum. You may note that I instruct readers at the beginning of my author's comment to read the wikipedia entry on pantoums to better understand how I'm subverting the form for my own nefarious purposes. You'll note the repeated occasions on which I draw attention to how my form differs from the puritanical dictates of the form. Though I hope you'll appreciate the lengths I went to to present the spirit of the form, and not to lose it entirely to experimentation, the way many other celebrated poets have done, and gotten away with...;)
deinktvis Apr 7, 2013  Student Writer
i completely agree with you about the evolution of poetry! i have developed several forms from already existing forms. but i want there to be a delineation between the standard forms and the 'mutants' (i mean that in a good way). when i have time i will set up an experimental folder for fff (i need to do a sijo folder too).
Indeed you did invent a new form of pantoum. It's cool though
sandzen Nov 24, 2012   General Artist
Well, I just don't want to anger the lit-gods. I've been traumatized on dA before for trying new things with art.

Thanks for the kind words.
Claim "poetic licence" =]
sandzen Nov 28, 2012   General Artist
I just assume that's implied. Anyone who gets that up in arms over a slight deviation in form should really re-read the name of this site.

You're right, of course. :)
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