My Shadow

 

My shadow is a funny friend.
I’ve come to learn its quirky ways.
Sometimes it’s trailing my back end,
But only shows on sunny days.

I’ve come to learn its quirky ways.
It always seems to follow me,
But only shows on sunny days.
It hides when near a shady tree.

It always seems to follow me,
Sometimes it’s short, sometimes it’s long.
It hides when near a shady tree.
I’m happy when it tags along.

Sometimes it’s short, sometimes it’s long.
Sometimes it’s trailing my back end.
I’m happy when it tags along.
My shadow is a funny friend.

Author Notes:

Just some shadow thoughts. I captured this shot of my wife walking ahead of me on a sunny winter morning, when the shadows were long.

This poem is a Pantoum.
A Pantoum is a poem that is made up of quatrains with interweaving repeated lines. It is composed of a series of at least 4 quatrains; the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next. This pattern continues for any number of stanzas, except for the final stanza, which differs in the repeating pattern. The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate; the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza, and the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final.

Ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same. So, although they are the same words, their meaning is changed. this gives the poem it’s intrinsic beauty.

A four-stanza Pantoum is common, (although more may be used) and in the final stanza, you could simply repeat lines one and three from the first stanza, or write new lines.

The Pantoum outline is as follows:
Stanza 1: A1, B1, A2, B2
Stanza 2: B1, C1, B2, C2
Stanza 3: C1, D1, C2, D2
Stanza 4: D1, A2, D2, A1

Although it sounds complicated, the Pantoum is really one of the simplest poems to write, because of all the repeats. Here’s how to go about it. First, get a sheet of lined paper. Then write the pattern down the left hand column of the sheet, with A1 on the first line, B1 on the second, A2 on the third, B2 on the fourth, and so on for each stanza. Now write your first abab rhyming stanza. Then take the first line and make it the last line of the poem. Take the third line and copy it as the second line of the last stanza. After that, take the second and fourth lines and make them the first and third lines of the second stanza. Then all you have to do is write two new lines in the second stanza, that become the first and third of the next, and so on. So your really only writing two new lines per stanza, and not even that for the last stanza. Think of it. For a 16 line poem, you really only write 8 lines. The trick is making them blend together well.

This picture was taken by the author himself in January, 2012, at Battle Creek Park in Maplewood, Minnesota.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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