• Amy Cherie Copeland

I Wrote a Pantoum - You Can, Too

On Saturday, April 27, I attended a poetry workshop at the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown. My mentor and editor Lynn Skapyak Harlin led our group through her workshop on writing a pantoum, which is a poetry form that comes from Malaysia. Most of my poetry is freestyle, so putting ideas into a form is not something I do often, but I found the pantoum was an accessible format to work with. Here's mine:


Sister Survivor


Sister survivor, raise your fist in solidarity.

When I see you, I know you;

Even without speaking, I have familiarity

With the depths of what you've been through.


When I see you, I know you.

What you endured was hell.

With the depths of what you've been through,

It's no wonder you chose to rebel.


What you endured was hell,

But you didn't let it keep you down

It's no wonder you chose to rebel,

And I'm so glad you're still around.


But you didn't let it keep you down.

Even without speaking, I have familiarity,

And I'm so glad you're still around.

Sister survivor, raise your fist in solidarity.


The Worksheets

Follow the instructions in the pictured worksheets below, and you, too, can write a pantoum.

Pantoum Worksheet #1

Pantoum Worksheet #2: An example by Lynn Skapyak Harlin


Pantoum Worksheet #3: Step-by-step instructions.

Pantoum Worksheet #4: Use this form to write your pantoum.

My original pantoum: Sister Survivor

I hope you will try writing a pantoum. If you do, please share it with me.

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