Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pantoum: The Princess and the Frog


The Princess and the Toad

Toads are less popular than frogs.
Ostriches bury their heads in sand.
The upright abhors toadying
When winter’s hibernation ends.

Ostriches bury their heads in sand.
The archetypical dwell in halls
When winter’s hibernation ends.
The eponymous hero promises.

The archetypical dwell in halls,
Endearing and obnoxious.
The eponymous hero promises.
The princess marries the prince.

Endearing and obnoxious,
His eyes look abnormally large.
The princess marries the prince.
The conceited ass never learns.

His eyes look abnormally large.
There are more to toads than meet the eye.
The conceited ass never learns.
Beauty’s ambivalence drives.

There are more to toads than meet the eye.
The upright abhors toadying.
Beauty’s ambivalence drives.
Toads are less popular than frogs.

If you're not familiar with the pantoum format, it consists (in English) of four lines in which the 2nd and 4th are repeated as the 1st and 3rd in the next verse, and so on.  When you're ready to come to an end, the original 1st and 3rd lines are placed as the 2nd and 4th of the last stanza.  There's a tendency for the pantoum to drum its way along at a fairly stolid pace (although that may depend on the poet) because of the repetitions.  However, the repetitions, coming as they do against new lines, tend to take on new meanings.  
This particular one is based on phrases and lines and words from this morning's Wordways (John Hale) in the ODT: The Ambivalent Amphibian. 
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