Just because I am retired doesn’t mean that I have stopped learning new things and different ways of writing. NCTE was filled with new and exciting styles of expressing yourself. This is one format I found particularly interesting.
When I was still teaching I did some Haiku with my students. I liked the simple format and my students felt successful writing poetry. I am sure many other teachers also wrote H aiku with their students.
At NCTE I sat in on a poetry session and learned a form of poetry that was unfamiliar to me. It is a Korean form called Sijo.
Like Haiku, Sijo is also based on syllable count and can be three to six lines. The poem has a total of 44 – 46 syllables Each line in the poem serves a special purpose. Here is the breakdown:
Line 1: 14 – 16 syllables (introduction)
Line 2: 14 -16 syllables (development)
Line 3: 14 – 16 syllables (twist and conclusion)
At the end of the session we were given a book of Sijo: Tap Dancing on the Roof written by Linda Sue Park. Here are some examples of her poems. You will notice that some poems have six lines. The reason for this is because lines can be so long tat they are sometimes divided into two lines.
In the shop there are baskets of sand dollars, white and round and smooth.
On the beach I search hard but find only shards, never a whole one.
Are all the perfect sand dollars locked away somewhere – in sand banks?
How proud you are of your strong legs!
Bend and straighten, kick and swim;
soon you will use them to climb
from cool water to sun-warm rock.
But do you wonder where it’s gone –
the tail that once served you so well?
Well, of course I couldn’t end this post without trying at least one Sijo of my own so here goes.
A flurry of activity; sparrows, wrens, and chickadees.
Gathering; Waiting their turn; filling up on seeds and berries.
Only to be disrupted by a squirrel that wants his fill too.
I hope you find this format as interesting as I did. Maybe you will try it, especially during the March Challenge.