Encyclopedia > Pantoum

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The pantoum is a rare form of poetry similar to a villanelle. 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. This pattern continues for any number of stanzas, until the final stanza, which usually contains the first and third lines of the first stanza as its second and fourth lines. Often, the final stanza's fourth line is the poem's first, and the third line of the poem may or may not appear as the second line of the final stanza. Ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same: this can be done by shifting punctuation, punning, or simply recontextualizing.

The pantoum is originally Malayan and is adopted infrequently to English.

As the pontoum is extremely rare in English, one is hard pressed to find good examples.

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