"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Marc in Vancouver wrote a pantoum the other day.

I looked it up on Wikipedia and discovered it
- is composed of a series of quatrains;
- the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next; except that
- the first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate;
- the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza;
- the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final;
- ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same; and
- this meaning change can be done by shifting punctuation, punning, or simply changing the context.

That, I thought, is next to impossible and was amazed at how good Marc's was. And then the competitive bit of me cut in. Not to beat Marc's (no chance) but simply to see if I could manage one. I did, of sorts.

"And now I'm done, I'm done!"
Is what I wish to cry.
Everything under the sun
I really have to try.

Is what I wish to cry
A reasonable wish?
I really have to try
To give up all this pish.

A reasonable wish
I rarely ever top.
To give up all, this pish
I'll just have to stop.

I rarely, ever, top
Everything under the sun.
I'll just have to stop.
And now I'm done, I'm done!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind mention - I think you did fantastic with yours!