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Poetry Friday Pantoums!
books
liz_scanlon
Well lookie here -- dusting off the old blog for Poetry Friday!

(Truth be told, back when I was in the thick of blogging, Poetry Friday was always, always what I loved most. A simple celebration of language at its purest, of connecting to others through that language, of trotting about all Friday morning, from one spot to another, remembering old favorites, discovering new ones. I'm so glad to be a part of that today...)

So. Here's the deal. During those days, I met and grew close to a little clutch of very wonderful women and writers. We ganged up to work on some group poetry projects -- a crown sonnet, for example -- and called ourselves The Poetry Princesses. Because why not?

Recently, we re-connected and discovered we were all missing poetry in our lives so we decided to challenge ourselves anew. The result? Pantoums. With the unifying line "I've got better things to do than survive" -- from an Ani DiFranco song -- we each created our own poems and are sharing them today.

The prompt actually resulted in two pantoums for me, and here they are:

And This, and This
(with thanks to Ani DiFranco for the line “I’ve got better things to do than survive)

Appointments, bookmarks, lists
I’ve got better things to do than survive
Each moment is a chance just missed
I take off knowing that I won’t arrive

I’ve got better things to do than survive
And a doctor who will get me there
I take off knowing that I won’t arrive
That hair-fine like between elation and despair

There’s a doctor who will get me there
Dark’s antidote? A tiny pill –
That hair-fine line between elation and despair
My head, my heart, my driving will

Dark’s antidote, a tiny pill
Or better yet, from you, a kiss
My head, my heart, my driving will
Touch here, and there, and this

Yes better yet, from you, a kiss
Each moment something not to miss
Touch here, and there, and this, and this
Appointments, bookmarks, endless lists



The Food Movement
(with thanks to Ani DiFranco for the line “I’ve got better things to do than survive”)

Oh, please – the relentlessness of meals
The menus, so contrived
The local beets, the grass-fed veal
I’ve got better things to do than just survive

The menus, so contrived
The water bottled and the prices fixed
I’ve got better things to do than to survive
But still I sit like stone, transfixed

The water bottled and the prices fixed
We are assured “the glaze has been reduced”
My god, I sit like stone, transfixed –
If food were man, I’d be seduced!

We are assured the glaze has been reduced
I want to cry, “Who cares?”
If food were man, I’d be seduced
I take it in like necessary air

I want to cry, “Who cares?”
The local beets, the grass-fed veal
I take them in like necessary air
and say "Oh, please!" to all these unrelenting meals



Thank you to Poetry Princess and friend Laura Salas for hosting today -- visit her here -- and thanks to you, too, for stopping by. Enjoy your Friday!


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Liz, I just adore this stanza:

"Yes better yet, from you, a kiss
Each moment something not to miss
Touch here, and there, and this, and this
Appointments, bookmarks, endless lists"

Love the way that twists!

Of course you have to know I'm smiling at your second pantoum. I often "sit like stone, transfixed," to say nothing of the seduction. :)

I like where the first pantoum takes me, the shift in the second to the last stanza, the urgency, the intimacy. I nod in recognition at "that hair-fine line between elation and despair." Sigh.

Enjoyed seeing what you did with this poetic form. Thanks for prodding the other PP. Such a treat!


Brava! Two compelling pantoums, and they both had me in their back-and-forth. I especially like "The Food Movement" with what I read as both fascination with and weariness of our preoccupation with what we eat.

You have missed poetry, and Poetry Friday/I have missed YOU!

I love both of yours, but

"That hair-fine line between elation and despair" seems to be where I'm living these days. I'd like it to be wider, or else for my time spent in elation to outweigh despair by a greater margin. I guess that needs to be my mission -- focus on the kisses and the local beets and let the rest slide off my back!

--Mary Lee

What a treat! As if writing one pantoum isn't hard enough! Both of these are wonderful, but the first one, especially, hits home for me. And the bonus? Ani DiFranco- an awesome poet herself, of course. It's been so much fun seeing the different takes on that one line.

Hmmm... didn't mean to post this anonymously. Thanks again from Michelle (Today's Little Ditty).

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