What is Pantun; Definition and Meaning

Pantun is a traditional verse form of Malayan origin. This kind of poem is mainly used for celebrating marriage, or any other occasions, and it was even shared between warriors about the battle. It is a poem of no determinate length, composed of quatrains with internal assonance and rhyming abab. The second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the next. In the last quatrain the first line of the poem re-appears as the last, and the third line as the second.

Pantun běrkait and pantun běrikat are terms that denote sets of quatrains; and a pantun sindiran is an epigram. The form was introduced into Western poetry by Ernest Fouinet in the 19th c. Some distinguished French poets used it, notably Victor Hugo, Leconte de Lisle and Baudelaire. It never proved popular in England. One of the better-known versions is Austin Dobson’s In Town.

Also read; A short note on the term “school drama” and its examples