Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mixed Messages - a sedoka #NationalPoetryMonth

This woman is named "Gladys." Why not?
Last night my daughter issued a dare. "Write a poem about poems," she said, "and make it funny." I decided to take her up on it and imagined a scenario where an older married woman running errands fails to notice her husband's attempt at affection. This poem is not bust-a-gut laughing funny. It may be only marginally humorous. I bet my daughter would have liked it to be funnier. If only she had been more specific in her request! If she had, I may have been pressed to write a limerick.*

Mixed Messages

Paper in her purse.
Used it for her grocery list,
to blot her lipstick, then trashed.

Hidden folded note—
love poem inscribed inside.
He hoped that she would like it.

I wrote this little poem using a little known, little used Japanese form called a sedoka. Geeky? Yes. Historically, sedokas were used to convey dialogue between people, often lovers. They're composed of two three-line katauta (fancy Japanese word for tercets), each with 5/7/7 syllable counts. Often each tercet addresses the same subject from differing perspectives. I took liberties and wrote both parts in third-person, instead of as a direct dialogue.

Japanese poetic forms are fun to play with. If you get the urge to write a sedoka, don't be shy- post it here in the comments! Thanks.

*Which my daughter would be too young to read.

No comments: