Summer Outing: A Pantoum

The summer before I started university, I did a few creative writing workshops. Once, we tried some verse poems (I wrote a villanelle). I liked following a template. It gave me a guide in the otherwise limitless and daunting realm of poetry. So I thought I would try it again for this week’s post. This time, I tried a pantoum. I followed the format of Another Lullaby for Insomniacs by A. E. Stallings as a reference point.

summer outing

the icy water’s sweet
as I wade in the river
pebbles scratch my feet
it sets my limbs aquiver

as I wade in the river
the fish begin to scatter
it sets my limbs aquiver
to think, to them I matter

the fish begin to scatter
their skin glints in the sun
to think, to them I matter
to others, I am no one

their skin glints in the sun
they think they’re in my thrall
to others, I am no one
to them, I rule them all

they think they’re in my thrall
the icy water’s sweet
to them, I rule them all
but pebbles scratch my feet.


© Sohini Kumar
Photo by John Salvino from Unsplash

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Coping with Comparison

Boy, I will do anything for a bit of alliteration.

But alliteration aside (see what I did there?), today I am coming to you with some thoughts about comparison. I’m sure most of us have subjected ourselves to this at one point or another in our lives: looking at ourselves, or at something we’ve done, and undermining it because someone else is further or seemingly better off.

In my first year of university, I lived about ten minutes away from central campus. The path I took every day led me through a scening route, but it could also be secluded. Aside from listening to music and admiring nature, I was pretty much left to my thoughts.

IMG_0689The view on my walk, every day for a year. Not bad!

Sometimes on my walk, there would be people in front of me. Not that I competed with them, but thinking about how far they were never really helped me in any way. Still, if I was particularly tired or half-asleep after a night of sleep deprivation, I found myself wishing I was where they were.

Other times I felt completely alone and wondered why I was the only one on that path. I looked around only to realise that there were others behind me.

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What do you look for in a book?

Some elements that make a good story, in my opinion, with some examples that show those qualities.
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1. Storytelling

I believe a good story requires a good balance between revealing and withholding information. If everything is given away too quickly, the reader may lose interest, and the same thing may happen if the story goes on and on with nothing to capture the reader’s interest in the first place. I think a story is more compelling when it reveals just enough so that the reader starts and continues to read, and then gradually gives away more information, like a trail of breadcrumbs. Example: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Continue reading “What do you look for in a book?”