In a letter a few months ago my friend the concert pianist and poet, William Aide, mentioned a poetic form called the pantoum. I had perhaps heard the name as that of some exotic form, but never paid much attention, didn't again this time, my mind on other things. Then recently I came on the name once more and googled it to see just what one was like. To my astonishment I found I'd written one fifty years ago. Yes, really, fifty years, long before the rest of you were born. As an undergraduate I came on a Baudelaire poem called 'Harmonie du Soir', in a complcated form with repeats and rhymes. Couldn't resist making a translation. Now I discover that it is the very thing. A pantoum.
I got the message from the universe and sat down wrote four of them over the next few days, of which, so far, I've kept three. Bill Aide has also challenged me to write a Canzone, (see Auden) a sort of double sestina, but I'm not taking the challenge. Too many repeats even for a compulsive rhymer.