Treasure Island

Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

A Pantoum For Joan


Joan’s home will be a castle
after she’s done it up.
With pebbles and shells instead of marble
it’ll be lovely but

after she’s done it up
she’ll be fidgety as sea foam.
It’ll be lovely but
she won’t stay long, knowing Joan.

She’ll be fidgety as sea foam
scooped in children’s hands.
She won’t stay long, knowing Joan.
Let’s build a sand campervan.

Scooped in children’s hands
with pebbles and shells instead of marble,
let’s build a sand campervan.
Joan’s home will be a castle.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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Topic(s): memory

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

For my ever-adventurous Mum

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  • Captain Cur (7/27/2014 10:32:00 PM)

    A wise and energetic woman. A fitting tribute to one so loved and admired.
    May she tickle children's hand and built that castle in the sand,
    but she won't stay long, except in your heart and those who loved her. (Report) Reply

  • Daniel Brick (4/20/2014 11:30:00 AM)

    If memory serves me (and that's always a risky gambit) the pantoum is an Asian verse form, I think Malaysian? In any case, the repetition creates just the right restless rhythms for your character who is so energetic, so focused on making the most of her life regardless of age, so unwilling to settle down into complacence. I love the way you suggest the eternal child in all of this activity. It's what keeps her vital and strong, even if it's no longer possible to be young. Time is so relentless in its efforts to push us off the stage of life, we have to push back by building things, like this house. Even if it's ultimately a quixotic venture, it's an admirable ad-venture! (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Vaughan Jones (4/5/2014 2:52:00 PM)

    Fiendishly clever Diane. I love finding clever, verbose poets who are willing to branch out into all forms of poetry. You are always welcome at my Academy. Pantoums, villanelles, sestinas a speciality. (Report) Reply

  • Dinesh Nair (3/15/2014 6:38:00 AM)

    ' East or West Home is the best ' is to stay as a perception for a true feel. The strength of the poem is its newness of theme. Well written Diane. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (3/12/2014 5:47:00 PM)

    Wherever Joan's home is, let's hope she will be very happy in it. Certainly an unusual and entertaining poem. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (3/12/2014 7:14:00 AM)

    You said Joan won't stay even in a castle for long! Is it that she likes to be on wheels always or is that she is adventurous like her daughter, Diana? I liked the expression... She'll be fidgety as sea foam, scooped in children's hands! Very original and unique! (Report) Reply

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