Blog, Music, Pantoum, poetry, Themed Writing Projects

Pant, Pant, “Ou-ou-oum” (A Goat Song Pantoum Poetry Prompt)


pantoum goat poetry prompt

Each month, we at Tweetspeak explore a new and exciting poetic theme. As the local poetry prompter, it’s my privilege to invite you into the action, to draw you into creative work by issuing a Monday poetry prompt. And on the first Monday of every month, I create a monthly-themed musical writing playlist to help get your creative juices flowing, to give you a bit of writing fodder.

Speaking of fodder, recently our fearless leader L.L. Barkat informed me that the monthly theme for March was the poetic form “pantoum.” I was immediately excited because I’m very familiar with the pantoum style. You see, I spent a few of my formative years in the backwoods of Rudy, Arkansas, and my neighbor raised a passel of milk goats on the land next door to ours. On hot summer days, I’d gaze into his pasture where the goats engaged in animalistic monotony–chew, chew, pant, pant, “ou-ou-ou-oum.” Their bleats were hypnotizing, poetry in motion.

Ah yes, the pant-oum, that ancient goat form. (That is what we’re talking about. Right, L.L.?)

Lucky for me, modern musical artists have made great use of this form lately. Consider One Direction, which clearly knows that every good beach party includes a pantoum.

And Bon Jovi? He gets it right, too.

And though there are a limited number of musical artists jumping on the bandwagon, there is plenty of goat-themed music out there for your listening pleasure. I’m happy to share a compilation with you today. Consider it a sort of pant-pant-oum playlist.

If you’re daring, consider penning a poem around today’s pantoum theme. Or around any old goat theme. Consider working in tragedy. Did you know that the word “tragedy” actually means “goat song?” In fact, some believe that the prize for annual Greek tragedy contests, which were proffered as part of the festival of Dionysus, was a goat. But even if you’re not in the mood to spin a tragedy, any old goat song will work.

Any old goat song. There’s gold in them-thar goat hills, I say. Gold.


Tweetspeak’s March Pantoum Prompt:

This month’s poetry theme at Tweetspeak is Pantoum, and we’ll be composing poems that fit the genre. This is an open month as far as thematic content goes, so be creative. How do you participate?

1. Study up on the Pantoum style, the form and theory.

2.  Compose your own pantoum.

3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #TSPantoum hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.

4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your poem here in the comment box.

5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and feature it in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.

Last month we composed poems around the theme purple, plum, and indigo. I loved all of the poems submitted last month, but my nod for the feature piece goes to Lexanne Leonard. Using color as a sort of anchor for the piece, she writes:

There were purple grapes and green leafed vines
printed on the fabric of the first dress
I made with my mom’s Singer sewing machine.
“It looks like it.”  My best friend commented on my handiwork.

There were lilacs of purple scenting the air
as though the day had just been laundered.
The bush hanging so heavy with blooms
I thought a cloud had come to rest in Annie’s backyard.

And then there was the purple couch.

“Who would ever buy a purple couch?” muttered my mother.
With its deep, thick pillows and velveteen touch
it cradled me when she was taken, too soon,
without anyone ever asking my permission.

To the victor! Hip Hip! Thanks again for sharing, Lexanne. We’ll feature your work in an upcoming Top 10.

Now, let’s get to down to working out our pantoums. Who’s first?

Photo by  Hamed Saber, Creative Commons via Flickr. Post by Seth Haines


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In February we’re exploring the theme The Pantoum.

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Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. Thank you so very much, Seth! Makes my day. :)

  2. L. L. Barkat says:

    It might be a tragedy, yes, if I got awarded a goat for my poems :)

    Seth, you make me laugh!! (I want a goat poem from you too :) )

    • Seth Haines says:

      I’ll work a goat poem up. I have something running around in my head… it’s a goat… it has a long beard and stubby horns.

      Maybe it’s about ‘Merica. We’ll see.

      And L.L., if I had a goat, I’d give it to you. I’m not sure where you’d tie it up, but I’d give it to you nonetheless.

  3. Chris Yokel says:

    Well, I wrote this a few years ago, but it is a pantoum, and it is tragic (but it has nothing to do with goats):

    A Pantoum in Khazad-Dûm

    We cannot get out
    Drums doom in the deep
    The folly of our pride released
    We dug too deep

    Drums doom in the deep
    Rattling chains in chasm’d halls
    We dug too deep
    Unleashed the shadow of our fall

    Rattling chains in chasm’d halls
    Lost from light so long ago
    Unleashed the shadow of our fall
    In greed our industry suspired

    Lost from light so long ago
    Hence Khazad-Dûm, Moria became
    In greed our industry suspired
    Our glory lost beneath Caradhras

    Hence Khazad-Dûm, Moria became
    In the darkness corpses mingled
    Our glory lost beneath Caradhras
    Our shame of defeat swallowed, entombed

    In the darkness corpses mingled
    Do not let your specter join us
    Our shame of defeat swallowed, entombed
    Let it not become your eternal grave

    Do not let your specter join us
    The folly of our pride released
    Let it not become your eternal grave
    We cannot get out

  4. Needle and Thread Pantoum

    There’s always something left.
    We’ve loved but maybe not this
    time enough to bind us too.
    Threads we’ve pulled then lose.

    We love but maybe not. This
    one word you said I said not.
    Threads you’ve pulled I loose
    so easily. You do get bruised.

    One word you said I said. Not
    love. Not now. Not you
    so easily and once more bruised.
    Who mends? I ask. It’s you.

    Love? Not now. Not you
    forever. Our day it’s turned deep blue.
    Who mends? I ask. It’s you
    my needle’s pierced, gone through.


    I picked up part of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez line in a WordCandy post today (“There is always something left to love”) and used it as inspiration. I followed Poets[dot]org more liberal construing of pantoum (and probably enhanced it).

  5. JoyAnne O'Donnell says:

    Pantoums Prayer

    Pray, loves heart will sing
    God turns suns warm handshake
    with pearls in your fingers
    You can hold it from your soul.

    God turns suns warm handshake
    And warms your arms elbow
    You can hold it from your soul
    We have hymns reason.

    To embrace the prayer books cover
    And open the lightness inside
    We have a hymns reason
    The heart of God is here.

    The eyes of diamonds chair
    Glow outside together
    The heart of God is here
    Here hope is in the sky.

    And open the lightness inside
    With peace in candles moon
    Hope is in the sky
    With pearls in your fingers.

    By: JoyAnne O’Donnell

  6. Working on one now.

    And I have to say that the screaming goats completely redeem One Direction for me.

  7. These men have been here forever in town

    These men have been here forever in town,
    they must be over a hundred or more
    in number, and they know all of us well.
    Slowly they walk through our streets in the night.

    They must be over a hundred or more
    as they were here when our grandfathers lived,
    knowing them all and their parents as well.
    They talk about wars no one remembers.

    As they were here when our grandfathers lived,
    how come they don’t die like everyone else?
    They were in wars no one remembers now.
    In dark clothes they stride and peek through curtains.

    How come they don’t die like everyone else?
    These men have been here forever in town!


  1. 5 Great Ways to Write a Pantoum - Tweetspeak Poetry - March 4, 2013

    [...] 2. Pretend you know what a pantoum is and sing your way through it with One Direction and Bon Jovi [...]

  2. Personal Pantoum Fest (A Poetry Prompt) - Tweetspeak Poetry - March 11, 2013

    [...] a daunting task, but start simple. Start by penning a two stanza pantoum on any subject. And yes, you will receive bonus points if you work in references to either goats or Bon Jovi. And if you’re more ambitious, feel free to stretch beyond two stanzas. Share it with us and [...]

  3. This Week's Top Ten Poetic Picks - Tweetspeak Poetry - June 20, 2013

    [...] cats on the Internet aren’t quite your thing. Perhaps you have another favorite meme. The goats that yell like humans? “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife” Antoine Dodson? Secretary of State Clinton texting? Or [...]

  4. Ten Great Writing Playlists & Poetry Prompts | - August 22, 2013

    [...] 8. The Pantoum Playlist [...]

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