An Island off the Coast of Denmark

A few months ago my five-year-old made an erroneous but poetic statement about his place of birth and inspired this pantoum

I was born in Poverty,
An island off the coast of Denmark.
Our only bit of property,
A parcel just barely a landmark.

An island off the coast of Denmark
Is not a bad place to live;
A parcel just barely a landmark
Has a surprising amount to give.

It’s not a bad place to live.
The winds and the currents incessant
Have a surprising amount to give
To a child who lives in the present.

The wind’s and the current’s incessant
Whooshing about the snug home
Of a child who lives in the present
Can lead him to dream in poems.

Whooshing about the snug home,
Our only bit of property,
The winds and currents incessant.

I was born in Poverty.


  1. Ellery Davies · February 13, 2015

    A Pantoum. I have learned something new today!

    I have always enjoyed writing, but only recently has it become my profession (or at least, one means of livelihood).

    I know a bit about writer’s perspective and tense and rhetorical forms (Narrative, expository, descriptive, etc). I may even rattle off a few types of meter (Who knows Iambic Pentameter). Yet, I am profoundly clueless on the subject of poetic form. I don’t think that sonnet or ballad are true forms, and so can think only of Haiku and Limerick.

    But as to you and your son’s poem, I can only say…

    I think that I shall never see
    a Pantoum lovely as thine <== (I was never great at rhyming!)


  2. Lori · February 13, 2015

    This is lovely, Charity! What a beautiful form and what great use you’ve made of it. I love it.


    • Charity · February 13, 2015

      Thank you, Lori! I’ve sat on it for a while, but then our gathering on Saturday and the discovery of a couple of new-to-me blogs reminded me of the value of playing. “Risk Looking Silly” is one of my Seven Personal Commandments from my Happiness Project days. I’d forgotten about it, and I think I need to dust it off again. (Along with the reminder that a poem I’ve written is never going to feel done to me.)


      • Lori · February 13, 2015

        Fear of ridicule is one of my biggest issues, but I am also learning slowly that playfulness is essential for any creative endeavor. It’s a good thing to practice. Thanks for reminding me of that.


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