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?