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Variations on the Malay Pantun: The Old Man and the Short Story

Variations on the Malay Pantun : The Old Man and the Short Story

(The pantun line varies between 8 and 12 syllables and is most commonly found in the  anonymous quatrain form. Cf  " Poietics of the Pantun ", pp. 49-67 in T. Wignesan. Sporadic Striving amid Echoed Voices, Mirrored Images and Stereotypic Posturing in Malaysian-Singaporean Literatures. Allahabad : Cyberwit, 2008, xix-244p.)

                                               I

The Old Man often stops by the hedge or dark bush
His back to the World, the Youngster can hold his own
The short story is written through spurts in a rush
Not so the novel which calls for much breath word blown

			      II

The poem most write confines itself to the page
Cousin brother to the short story told in a day
Old Men take less time to leave the Wench in a rage
Not so the Youngster whose novels always end gay

			     III

Plays are staged with intervals peer to the novel
Essays take longer to read than the short story
The Wench smokes cigarettes waiting to stoke yell
Not so the Youngster whose next essay's more gory

© T. Wignesan - Paris, November 9, 2018

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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