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A Vampire Pantoum for Halloween

I ought to have told you a while back, but what with one thing and another, I kinda lost track of the fact that my poem, "A Vampire Pantoum", was published online at Blood Moon Rising Magazine back in June. (It got accepted last fall, and I kinda forgot all about it - oops!)

Today, I figured I'd share it with you here in honor of Halloween:

A Vampire Pantoum
by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

Come with me
Midnight comes soon
Flying free
We soar beneath the moon

Midnight comes soon
The shadows shrink away
We soar beneath the moon
And over the bay

The shadows shrink away
The air is still
And over the bay
It’s time for us to kill

The air is still
But none can slow our pace
It’s time for us to kill
We leave without a trace

None can slow our pace
Flying free
We leave without a trace
Come with me


A word about the form: The pantoum is an evocative form that originates in Malaysia. It involves a lot of repetition, since each line will repeat once in the poem. A pantoum can have as many stanzas as one likes. Each stanza holds four lines. Lines two and four of stanza one become lines one and three of stanza two, lines two and four of stanza two become lines one and three of stanza three, and so on, until the final stanza, in which line three of the first stanza of the poem is line two of that final stanza, and line one of the poem is the fourth line, and therefore the final line of the poem.

It can sound a bit complicated, but it's exceedingly simple when seen in practice. I posted about the form once before, with a spectacular pantoum by poet Peter Oresick, from his book Warhol-O-Rama. Joyce Sidman is also a master at this form, with splendid pantoums in Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow and This is Just to Say. She's posted a pantoum called "Spring is the Time" at her website, with instructions on how to write one, if you're so inclined.


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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 31st, 2011 09:15 am (UTC)
tanita says:
Well, you surprise us all again. Congratulations! It's a good sign to forget when you have something published; it maybe means you've gone on to write the next thing, and are enjoying some other part of the journey.
kellyrfineman
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita says:
I think I forgot it was published because (a) it was so long after the acceptance, (b) I didn't get an email to remind me it was published and (c) I had so much going on just then. But I like your answer ever so much better!!
amygreenfield
Oct. 31st, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
That's really fun, Kelly. A simple form, maybe, but it requires work and talent to make it sound this good.
kellyrfineman
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
The funny thing is, I set out to write a pantoum about the moon, and somehow it totally morphed. As Karla Kuskin says:
Write about a radish
Too many people write about the moon.
annemariepace
Oct. 31st, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Very nice and very creepy! Thanks for sharing!
kellyrfineman
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
You are welcome - and hooray! You found it creepy!
boreal_owl
Oct. 31st, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Very nice pantoum! Congrats!
kellyrfineman
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Danke schön, darling.
slatts
Oct. 31st, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Love the poem

And the type of poem

Must re-read the instruction and try one myself—very lyrical.
kellyrfineman
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it. I'm even gladder that you're going to try one. Joyce Sidman's instructions are especially detailed, since they're intended for kids.

Oh - and they don't have to rhyme, but I made mine rhyme anyhow. Because I'm like that.
slatts
Oct. 31st, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Because I'm like that.
And I like that! That you're like that and things that rhyme!
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Nov. 1st, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Good to know!
angeladegroot
Nov. 3rd, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
It's pantabulous! Congrats.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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