A poem: my attempt at a pantoum!

Before we get to my pantoum that I wrote today as part of the poetry writing challenge I am attempting, I should probably explain the form itself.

A pantoum is made of an indeterminate amount of stanzas (as in, you can write as few or many as you like) all made up of four lines. The second and fourth lines of each stanza also become the first and third line of the next stanza, and so on through the poem, and the final stanza repeats the unrepeated first and third lines from the first stanza. As a result, each line is repeated twice, and the poem attains a sort of cyclical feel to it, always coming back to the same ideas. While some people now believe it is not important to have a rhyme scheme, I like to rhyme each couplet, so that the rhyme scheme ends up something like abab bcbc cdcd and so on.

If none of that made much sense, just read my poem and the structure at least might come across more clearly.

This form is really quite challenging and I definitely don’t feel I have mastered it, but this is the first pantoum I have written in some time so I thought I would share it (even though I’m actually quite nervous). Enjoy!

The Cold Ground – A Pantoum

The crowd has gathered round
Unsheltered from the icy rain
As he’s placed into the cold ground
Gazed upon with pity and pain

Unsheltered from the icy rain
This bitterness has a sharp sting
Gazed upon with pity and pain
A big fall for one who was once king

This bitterness has a sharp sting
They watched him slide off the rails
A big fall for one who was once king
And who never found his own grail

They watched him slide off the rails
Now the crowd has gathered round
He never found his own grail
It’s too late, he’s deep in the cold ground

And there we have it, my first and last attempt at a pantoum for this poetry challenge. It was fun, and the last two lines I had to come up with (in other words, the first and third of the last stanza) were particularly challenging as I had to wrap it all up somehow and bring it back to where it started, but I am glad I wrote it.

What are your thoughts on this form, and on my attempt at it?