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Pantoum



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We have an extra challenge for you this week, dear writers: the PANTOUM. Originating in Malaysia, this 4,000-year-old form celebrates the power of rhythm and repetition. The Academy of American Poets describes it this way: “a pantoum’s interlocking pattern of rhyme and repetition [creates] an incantation; as lines reverberate between stanzas, they fill the poem with echoes.”
 
Your stanzas should be composed of four lines, and—here’s the tricky part—the second and fourth lines of each stanza should reappear as the first and third lines of the following stanza. If you’d like, you can play with an abab rhyme scheme. Finally, your first line should also serve as your last line.
 
Thanks to Vani, who has agreed to let us republish her exceptional pantoum "Flute".


Flute

A cold, steel instrument, which greets my heart warmly. 
A shy instrument, meek in its ways. 
It creeps in discreetly, softly and quietly. 
Without anyone's knowledge, never once asking for praise. 

A shy instrument, meek in its ways 
but when played by many, never ceases to surprise. 
Without anyone's knowledge, never once asking for praise. 
It can create anticipation, terror or mimic the sunrise. 

But when played by many, never ceases to surprise. 
A weak thing it may seem, and not at all bright. 
It can create anticipation, terror or mimic the sunrise. 
One day, they shall inherit the earth, as was their birthright. 

A weak thing it may seem, and not at all bright. 
It creeps in discreetly, softly and quietly. 
One day, they shall inherit the earth, as was their birthright. 
A cold steel instrument, which greets my heart warmly.