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Welcome to Young Writers' free Poetry Glossary


What is a Pantoum?

A Pantoum is a type of poem with a verse form consisting of three stanzas. It has a set pattern within the poem of repetitive lines.

The pattern in each stanza is where the second and fourth line of each verse is repeated as the first and third of the next. The pattern changes though for the last stanza to the first and third line are the second and fourth of the stanza above (penultimate). The last line is a repeat of the first starting line of the poem and the third line of the first is the second of the last. Confused? Look below at our example.

An example of a Pantoum Poem

'World War II Pantoum'

A Remember those who died for us (1)
B They did not die in vain (2)
A They gave their lives and their trust (3)
B So atrocities of war are never again (4)

A They did not die in vain (2)
B Wear a poppy each November (5)
A So atrocities of war are never again (4)
B We must never forget, but remember (6)

A Wear a poppy each November (5)
B Honour those so brave (7)
A We must never forget, but remember (6)
B Our freedom they did pave(8)

A Honour those so brave (7)
B They gave their lives and their trust (3)
A Our freedom they did pave (8)
B Remember those who died for us. (1)

Why don't you try writing a Pantoum Poem and enter it into one of our poetry competitions.

More poetry types below.

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