Thursday, October 10, 2013

Poetry Friday: Writing Pantoums with Friends

When Liz suggested reviving the dormant Poetry 7 Collaborative by writing pantoums around a common line, I said: "I'm in." 

Then I went to look up a pantoum.



Writing this was like turning myself inside out. 

The best part? Getting to read all my poetry sisters' beautiful efforts, which Laura Salas has collected here for Poetry Friday.  

A Pantoum

With thanks to Ani DiFranco for the line “I’ve got better things to do than survive"

I’ve got better things to do than survive
Like bread, I’m buttered to the edge
Slathered in riches, I’ve
congealed, a manicured hedge

Like bread, I’m buttered to the edge
I roll my socks in pairs; nothing should be
congealed; a manicured hedge
bitten back to nubs; still---wood, tree.   

I roll my socks; in pairs, nothing should be
alone in the dark; I reach for matches
bitten back to nubs; still! Wood! Tree!
I call out names, stick knives in latches

Alone, in the dark, I reach for matches
made in heaven; thus, a poem is braced, stave by stave
I call out! Names stick knives in latches;
Turning wood is soft as butter on the lathe

Made in heaven---thus, a poem is! Braced, stave by stave, 
Slathered in riches, I’ve 
turned. Wood is soft as butter. On the lathe,
I've got better things to do than survive.

                  ----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday roundup today.


  1. Wow! I admire your pantoum writing. I've been trying my hand at it as well. They are not easy. Like bread, I'm buttered to the edge.

  2. Yay!!! Am so glad we reunited!

  3. Exquisite, Sara. "a poem is braced, stave by stave" YES! Of course you had me at the second line. :) Feels nice visiting this spot on the web again.

  4. I so love your butter and sock images. Brilliant!

  5. I roll my socks; in pairs, nothing should be
    alone in the dark; I reach for matches

    As always, Sara mine, your poems provide proof of brilliance.
    Knowing how busy you've been, and that you came out with this anyway... wow

  6. I love the notion of being buttered to the edge. And poems being braced and slathered in riches. You really are amazing. I'm so glad you shared this.

  7. Your poems are always magical, Sara. I don't know where you come up with these images/thoughts, but I wish they'd come my way occasionally! Favorite: I roll my socks; in pairs, nothing should be
    alone in the dark; I reach for matches

  8. Oh, have I ever missed your voice on Fridays!

    I love how you keep the basic words, but with changes of tense and punctuation make the old line seem new.


  9. "Slathered in riches, I've
    congealed, a manicured hedge"
    ...I like what this is saying - well, more like I like how it is saying what it is saying. No one should feel so imprisoned.

  10. Sending another Oh my! The tenderness, the subtlety, the way the repetition stays in the shadows. Lovely.

  11. I love the socks that aren't alone.


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