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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Pantoum Winner

Categories: Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, WD Poetic Form Challenge, What's New.

First off, let me thank everyone for writing such fun pantoums. I admit I was a little worried about reading so many because of the required repetition of the lines. However, the rhymes were fun and the subject matter delightful. It was fun reading. Thank you!

Second, let’s get straight to the winner of this challenge, who is a veteran of the PA Street: RJ Clarken. I’m pretty sure most folks are familiar with RJ, but just in case, she loves to rhyme and has a habit for taking on ambitious poems. This poem is no different, because it’s not only a fine example of a pantoum; it’s also an ekphrastic poem!

Irises by Van Gogh, by RJ Clarken

Even in sadness, beauty can be found.
Van Gogh found it in asylum gardens.
From this, his masterpiece emerged, unbound:
an anodyne of blue-purple pardons.

Van Gogh found it in asylum gardens,
influenced by Japanese woodblock art:
an anodyne of blue-purple pardons
and vibrancy-filled brushes touched his heart.

Influenced by Japanese woodblock art,
black outlines made expressive this flower
and vibrancy-filled brushes touched his heart,
transporting him from his lonely tower.

Black outlines made expressive this flower.
Van Gogh’s madness created such splendor,
transporting him from his lonely tower.
A thread of hope, no matter how slender.

Van Gogh’s madness created such splendor.
Even in madness, beauty can be found.
A thread of hope, no matter how slender.
From this, his masterpiece emerged, unbound.


Congratulations, RJ!

And here’s the rest of the Top 10:

  1. “Irises by Van Gogh,” by RJ Clarken
  2. “Namesake,” by Jane Shlensky
  3. “Death Is Close,” by Colin Dardis
  4. “Kiss My Poetry,” by Jacqueline Hallenback
  5. “Supersize Me,” by Tracy Davidson
  6. “She Said,” by Louise Bilborough
  7. “My Poetic Secrets (Now Everyone Knows),” by Mary Mansfield
  8. “Reunion,” by William Preston
  9. “Celebrities as Deities,” by Daniel Ari
  10. “Books,” by Nancy Posey


Congratulations to everyone in the Top 10! And thank you so much to everyone who participated in this challenge!

Keep your eyes open. I plan to open and close the next poetic form challenge before we start the April PAD Challenge in 3 weeks!


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Check out some other poetic forms:


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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

13 Responses to WD Poetic Form Challenge: Pantoum Winner

  1. colindardis says:

    That’s awesome folks, thanks for shortlisting my poem, and well done to all the other winners!

  2. Michelle Hed says:

    Congratulations RJ and everyone in the top ten!!

  3. Yolee says:

    Congratulations to everyone involved, especially the top 10. Quite an accomplishment.

  4. PressOn says:

    A superb job indeed. Indeed, several of them.

  5. Nancy Posey says:

    Congratulations, RJ. Honored to be on the list! Thanks De and Marie.

  6. Marie Elena says:

    What an amazing lineup! It is not easy (for me) to make some of these forms flow, and not sound forced. You all did a beautiful job!

    I agree with De Jackson regarding Nancy’s “Books.” OUTSTANDING.

    Congratulations to RJ and all of you winners!

  7. Jane Shlensky says:

    Congrats, RJ. What a beautiful painting and poem! Congrats to all top ten as well. Thanks, Robert.

  8. Congrats, RJ! I adore your work!
    Congrats, everyone!!!
    Thanks for the prompts, Robert! ^^

  9. RJ Clarken says:

    Thanks to Robert for the wonderful Forms Challenges! I just love ‘em. Congrats to all the Top Ten dudes and dudettes – and to everyone who took part in the fun! And thanks youse guys for all the nice words! (BlushBlush)

  10. Congrats RJ and to the rest of the top ten! :)

  11. Congratulations RJ, what a truly beautiful poem! And congrats to the rest of the top 10, great job by all!

  12. Bruce Niedt says:

    I would have loved to participate in this contest, as I love pantoums, but my creative funk and procrastinative (is that a word?) mood prevented me from coming up with one in time. Anyway, congrats to all the winners, especially RJ. What a superb pantoum, my friend.

  13. De Jackson says:

    Yay! Congratulations, RJ! What a fantastic poem.

    Congratulations to the other winners, as well. I just wanted to say I absolutely LOVED Nancy Posey’s “Books.”

    Kudos to all, for well deserved honors. :)

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