Pantoum (before)

I do not remember innocence.
I was never in any first garden,
This life sprung from dust and breath blended
Before I knew death was hungry.

Our bonding was never ideal.

I was never in any first garden,
Tasting temptation and finding it sweet
Before I knew death was hungry
And death grinds our bones for bread.

Already fallen, the last time together.

Tasting temptation and finding it sweet
On my lips a fruited kiss-stung acid
And death grinds our bones for bread
That beauty is in the breaking of.

Or did we dance, holding fruit already bitten?

On my lips a fruited kiss-stung acid
This life sprung from dust and breath blended
That beauty is in the breaking of.
I do not remember innocence.

Our bonding was never  ideal.
Already fallen, the last time together.
Or did we dance, holding fruit already bitten?
Some knowing is worth any price.

***for dverse poetry prompt:  Pantoum.  I am starting to think I am no good with poetry forms…

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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54 Responses to Pantoum (before)

  1. Forms are hard work and often the idea that one is written for a prompt that day misleads as to the hard work that is needed to make one feel ‘natural’ This one has some powerful images and thoughts.

  2. Claudia says:

    i often wonder what i had done when i were in that garden instead of eve…but i have no illusions…so…smiles…nice work on the pantoum susan

  3. Susan, I think you have done a fine job with this form. I especially like your first and last line, and the progression between them works quite well. Forms can be hard work, but the challenge is usually worth it. Peace, Linda

  4. Mary says:

    Ah, temptation is ALWAYS sweet, isn’t it? Not always easy to resist. Not easy to keep one’s innocence. You did well with the form.

  5. Blue Flute says:

    I like the Eden allusion and symbolism. The first two lines are powerfully evocative as well, “I do not remember innocence / I was never in any first garden”

  6. brian miller says:

    and death grinds our bones for bread…wow…what a line…and def love the allusion to the creation story and eden throughout…well done on the form as well…

  7. suej says:

    I like it! Flows nicely, I found this form difficult to get a natural rhythm. Some great lines – “I do not remember innocence”….

  8. Laurie Kolp says:

    Great pantoum, Susan!!

  9. George Ellington says:

    Hope you don’t mind, Susan. I just had to share this one on FB. I hope they will attend to your verses. Very powerful.

  10. nelle says:

    I’m going to call this my favourite of your work.

    • nelle says:

      Shared on Twitter.

      • nelle says:

        I’m a big fan of declarative statements pulled out of conviction, summing a point of view. I’ve done it in the past not as poetry, but in debate. You…made it sing, something to treasure. It’s priceless, Susan.

        • Nelle–thank you. I am honestly stunned, as this was using a form I had never used before, and I was feeling completely out of my element writing it. That it spoke to you so strongly makes me humbly grateful for the opportunity taken to write it.

          • nelle says:

            Building a bit on what I said, there is something in me drawn to someone’s inner truth, what stirs inside. It may be a tad hard to share, but when it percolates out, it has this authenticity and conviction what makes me want to throw a fist in the air. When a writer hits me that way, I ride with it. I’ve mentioned Dinah before in The Red Tent, that was my reaction… a militant fist in the air saluting her action what served as both declaration of Dinah finding and embracing her strengths, and then acting upon them.

            It doesn’t have to be an assertion of inner power, it just has to be a snippet of ‘this is part of me’, ‘this I feel’. Whether or not the words represent fact, it *feels* like they do, and you know for a writer, that means so very much.

          • nelle says:

            The first verse raised my antennae, the second swallowed me whole, roflmao. Reading something so damn good really made my night, so thank you. Experimental? Comfort zone? Har!

  11. Excellente concept and execution. Don’t know if life would have been easier at Eden, but I can relate to your words today pondering the idea. I enjoyed this very much!

  12. Enjoyed the form Susan ~ I specially the first and last line, quite intriguing ~

  13. Rhonda says:

    so this is the one! I personally love the form. Adore it actually. It’s wonderful susan. I know you said you were out of your comfort zone with this one, but no one would ever guess that…it’s so you. Beautiful.

  14. “I am starting to think I am no good with poetry forms”… Are you kidding? This was a fabulous pantoum, executed perfectly, the repetitions used to great effect, and supporting the theme of innocence lost. One of the best examples I’ve read tonight. Bravo!

    • Oh, my. Thanks so much. I am floored. It must be my inexperience with the form translating into uncertainty with the execution. I am so thrilled you guys like this!

  15. Ian Moone says:

    Finely crafted and controlled

  16. Is Eve on wordpress? This is beautiful. Recalling the feel of innocence before “Innocence Lost” was scripted. Life has its trade-offs as economists tell us – and if death be the price for the loss of innocence and the opening of the eyes and the senses to other forms of “de-innocence”, then the bargain is good. You write so beautifully, Susan!

  17. This is beautiful, you make Eve look like a saint

  18. ‘and death grinds our bones for bread /
    that beauty is in the breaking of’

    It is a tempt, a tempt to recall something that is almost on the tip of one’s tongue … and then … ‘I do not remember innocence’ – OMG – fantastic

  19. jcosmonewbery says:

    A good effort with a tricky form! I missed the cut by two hours. Unfortunately and had to post solo. Only just realised that Mr Linky had a cut. 😦

  20. janehewey says:

    this is beautiful, Susan. you effectively meet the form so squarely in the face with your lyrical and luscious phrases. love it!

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