The Seasons – Sijo – March 29, 2015

See how this winter landscape melts the beauty of a soft autumn day.
Then look ever more carefully, the spring has stolen winter’s crown.
Would I were like the seasons and could follow my winter with spring.

© G.s.k. ‘15

This is my first Sijo, a Korean song-like poetry from introduced at BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond here follows the rules!

How to Write a Sijo

* There are three lines which average 14-16 syllables. The final count is 44-46 syllables;

* Line one introduces the theme;
* Line two elaborates on the theme;
* Line three introduces a counter-theme and concludes with a “twist”;

* Each line has a pause – or caesura – roughly in the middle (commas are great for this);
* Each half line is 6-9 syllables long;

* There is no end rhyme;
* There is no title;
* Western sijo are often printed in six lines, breaking lines at the pause.
…This is because a 16-syllable line is quite long – spilling beyond the space allotted to one printed line.

And this is Paloma’s example:

With peeling skin and open sores, this old school is a zombie – /
Dragging bare bones, seeking prey, creeping nightly in my brain. /
Who could have known I’d be devoured by memories & regrets? //

© Paloma

Here is another example, the oldest surviving sijo, by U T’ak (1262-1342):

The spring breeze melted snow on the hills then quickly disappeared. /
I wish I could borrow it briefly to blow over my hair /
And melt away the aging frost forming now about my ears. //