Sunday, October 7, 2012

For Real Toads, we try the Sijo poetic form

For this weekend's Sunday Mini Challenge at the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry introduces the poetic form Sijo (pronounced see-szo), the Korean cousin of the Haiku and the Tanka.

Traditionally, Kerry tells us, Sijo is written in three lines and is based on a syllable count of 14 - 16 per line, but the basis of the rhythm (and the secret art of writing the poem) is the use of 6 short phrases with a break at the mid-point of each line.
Line 1: Introduction to situation or problem
Line 2: Development of situation (turn)
Line 3: Strong conclusion often with a twist
Some leeway is allowed within the structure but the end result should be between 44 and 46 syllables, she says.

Kerry provides us with several beautiful photos by Jaime Clark as inspiration—an embarrassment of riches, I must say. Here is my choice, and my Sijo.

©  Jaime Clark photo

Mussels have few emotions, close family ties are enough,
But incoming invaders are unfortunate when their feet,
Ripped open by sharp mussel shells, are shredded, don’t heal quickly.


Mama Zen said...

This is really clever!

kaykuala said...

Always the witty comments from you. Thanks Ma'am! Afraid I've not ventured into Sijo. My mind's tuned to the 5-7-5 haiku. It's good to try Sijo! It puts a certain discipline into it. May be later!


Margaret said...

I never thought of how sharp they are! (I'm not an ocean gal). But they are beautiful.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Ouch! I'll say! Especially puppy paws!!!!!

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Sherry — you're right. Years ago, my family had a wonderful collie who loved to chase the seagulls at Crescent Beach near White Rock, and he'd bound into the water, heedless of sharp shells, barnacles, crabs, whatever, in pursuit of gulls he never managed to catch.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love your take on this Kay, and wry wit is very much a part of the Sijo tradition.

Susie Clevenger said...

Ouch! So True!!

Marian said...

ouch! take care of those feet!

hedgewitch said...

Painfully sharp! ;_) You manage to get a lot of mileage out of those mussels--they're a family, they're also alien lifeforms, and a bit dangerous as well as insignificant. Enjoyed your take very much.

Kay said...

Yowch! We can relate to this in Hawaii.

Grace said...

I love mussels..but I am careful as the shells are really sharp ~ Enjoyed your share Kay ~

Hannah said...

Kay, I love this line "close family ties are enough," strikes me as amusing and also true. Well done!!