It is day 15.  Here’s the directions given for today’s 30 POEMS IN 30 DAYS event.


A pantun consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line. The first two lines of each quatrain aren’t meant to have a formal, logical link to the second two lines, although the two halves of each quatrain are supposed to have an imaginative or imagistic connection. Here’s an example:

I planted sweet-basil in mid-field.
Grown, it swarmed with ants,
I loved but am not loved,
I am all confused and helpless.

The associative leap from the first couplet to the second allows for a great deal of surprise and also helps give the poems are very mysterious and lyrical quality. Try your hand at just one quatrain, or a bunch of them, and see how you do!


Is it just me or is the example given NOT AT ALL in line with the definition of a pantun? The rhyme scheme of ABAB is hardly seen …’midfield’ rhymes with  “loved”?  “Ants” rhymes with “helpless”?  I don’t see it…

And then there’s the line count …. the rule says ‘8 to 12 syllables’.  The example is 8, 5,6,8.  That makes it only half correct, as far as the rule goes…..

Or am I missing something?


I tried one according to the rules …. here it is…. the rhyme scheme and syllables work — I think — and the connection between the two quatrains is odd, so….. well, you be the judge.


There’s tarpon and barracuda and tuna fish

Some live in the deep, some in shallow water

A spoon, a fork, a knife, a china dish

Covered with meat fresh from a slaughter.