On this fifteenth day of the NaPoWriMo challenge, I am embracing (as I have done some other times) the “([…] totally optional) prompt! [… Namely,] to write a pantun Not a pantoum — though they are related. The pantun is a traditional Malay form, a style of which was later adapted into French and then English as the pantoum. A pantun consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line. The first two lines of each quatrain aren’t meant to have a formal, logical link to the second two lines, although the two halves of each quatrain are supposed to have an imaginative or imagistic connection. […] The associative leap from the first couplet to the second allows for a great deal of surprise and also helps give the poems are very mysterious and lyrical quality.”
Tanam selasih di tengah padang,
Sudah bertangkai diurung semut,
Kita kasih orang tak sayang,
Halai-balai tempurung hanyut.
[The original example above has also been provided by NaPoWriMo]
I have liked the challenge this time so much that I tried to compose Pantun poems in the three languages I am familiar with. All three poems below are my original work: Not translations between the different languages but each holding its own content within the prescribed lyrical form.
A Pantun in Turkish (Love for a town)
ülkemin en alçakgönüllü köşesi
almış çoktan aklımı başımdan
denizinin coşkun gelesi gidesi
kucaklıyor anılarımı karşıdan
A Pantun in English
often advice is given on self-respect
what, though, are the selves’ conditions?
how can it be feasible to expect
that there exist “one fits all” admonitions?
A Pantun in German (Love for a person)
sie dachte, sie entstand aus liebe allein
alles aufzuopfern, dazu war sie bereit
er war vornehm, gebildet und sehr fein
jedoch ging es nicht weiter zu zweit