backache and neck pain
a slight headache and I’m late
got so much to do
shaking my head I think that
these distractions – are arse pains
Japanese Poetry – Reflection
The Japanese are an extraordinary folk! They have a variety of poetry forms, but they all physically look the same!
Take a haiku, which was once just a fragment of a bigger collaborative poem known as a renga and went under the name of hokku. It’s all prim and proper with just so many onji (17 to be precise) about nature or something spiritual – has a kigo or seasonal word and then a cutting phrase to top it all off. The first and last 5 syllable phrases can be inverted. The middle 7 syllable phrase creates a sort of evolution in the poem. One shouldn’t use the “ego” in it, it’s always in the present and one shouldn’t give an opinion … just the scene. It can be very complicated to write.
The senryu which has the same structure 17 onji was born as a parody of the haiku. I used to be a bawdy addition to a party and poets (who actually weren’t considered such by the more intellectual spiritual haiku masters) were paid to come up with something funny, maybe even following the haiku form with kigo et al … but you could use whatever popped into your head including ego, rhyme, conclusions, past tense punctuation all in 17 onji (for us syllables).
The kyoka therefore looks like a tanka, but tanka it ain’t! The kyoka, historically was what the present senryu is now. It was about the mundane … it could be comical or semi-serious with tongue in cheek humor. It could be bawdy, it could be funny, it could be dead serious … but just for that reason, it could never be a tanka! For more information about the kyoka and links to posts that specialize in the sort of poem follow this link to Poetry Forms!