General Poetry posted October 23, 2013 Chapters: 2 3 -4- 5... 


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A Pantoum

A chapter in the book Pantoum Collection

To Sappho

by tfawcus

Aboard my silent silver ship
I sped. The wind was in my soul
I set out on a lonely trip
The isle of Lesbos was my goal

I sped. The wind was in my soul
A nightmare journey though it seems
The isle of Lesbos was my goal
To find my Sapphic cave of dreams

A nightmare journey though it seems
Cruel Eros made it hard for me
To find my Sapphic cave of dreams
He set my heart adrift at sea

Cruel Eros made it hard for me
To sing my soul's eternal tune
He set my heart adrift at sea
My lyric voice besought the moon

To sing my soul's eternal tune
With notes of tidal lunacy
My lyric voice besought the moon
Will Sappho ever join with me

With notes of tidal lunacy
I set out on a lonely trip
Will Sappho ever join with me
Aboard my silent silver ship


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Yeltel recently challenged me to write a pantoum on a nautical theme with references to ancient Greece and this is it. I dedicate it to Sappho, a Greek poet so widely respected as a lyric poet in her day that Plato once described her as the tenth muse. She lived on the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea over 600 years before the birth of Christ. Only a few fragments of her verse survive. They are of unutterable beauty and some have a gentle underlying eroticism. Sadly most of her work is now lost. My poem is a quest, an odyssey if you like, a vain search for all this lost beauty.

A pantoum has repeating lines throughout. The 2nd and 4th lines of each stanza are repeated as the 1st and 3rd lines of the next. Additionally, to complete the circularity, the 3rd and 1st lines of the poem become, respectively, the 2nd and 4th lines of the last stanza.
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