Oct 29, 2009


The Sedoka is a Japanese form that predates the haiku by at least a century. It is actually formed of a pair of two shorter poems known as katauta. This is a style of Japanese poetry often over-looked in the wake of the haiku or tanka.

A katauta is a three-line poem that has a syllabic pattern of 5/7/7 and is seldom seen on its own. This makes the sedoka a six line poem of 38 syllables. The katauta can be written together, or with a break in between.

Sedoka can be mood poems that express a certain feeling on a topic, or they can be song like and about nature, similar to the tanka. They most often address the same subject from differing perspectives.

The only rule that is known is that each katauta should be able to stand on its own as a poem. When the two katauta are placed together as a stanza, they should be logical and tell a complete story.

You can have a two stanza sedoka poem, or a 8 page sedoka poem, so long as each stanza is two complete poems put together to make a whole

To give you a little perspective, I did one with a break and one without.

Can start with a single word
Said in haste, spilled in anger.

To gain forgiveness
Harsh words must be forgotten.
Forgiveness is forthcoming

Look around and see,.
Beauty is all around you,
It’s a universal truth.
When their eyes are closed,
Men cannot see the beauty
That solitary poets can.


Jamie D. said...

*sigh* Lovely poems, once again C. And interesting information on the form as well. :-)

C R Ward said...

Thank you, Jamie!