Gogyohka, a Five Line Poem

The first snow perhaps the first freezing temperatures have gone. Until late November the salvia were blooming blue and Gerber daisies were full of warm colors.

Here’s a go at composing a gogyohka.


the autumn rose
dry leaves resist the wind
bruised seed cases
recall the bloom
recall the bud

© 03-12-20



Gogyohka (go-gee-yoh-kuh)

This poetic form was developed by Enta Kusakabe and means a “five-line poem” in Japanese. In that they may resemble the tanka or the cinquain.

The format is mainly five lines, however, four, or six lines are allowed and employs a free-verse style that seldom rhymes.

Each line is one breath in length.

These poems are usually untitled.

Obscured Moon, hay(na)ku

Obscured Moon, hay(na)ku

eclipses —

light tricks

and the moon

© ’20

Notes Hay(na)ku

  • A poetic form created in 2003 by poet Eileen Tabios
  • Is a 3-line poem with one word in the first line, two words in the second, and three in the third
  • Rhyme is optional but rare
  • Multiple hay(na)ku that make a longer poem are fine
  • Also poets linking is easy and a fun activity

Examples

pickles

last longer

than cucumbers do

——-

pickles

taste better

than cucumbers too

Leaving the Winter Woods

Leaving the Winter Woods

leaving

the winter woods

light strikes all the way through

still darkness, shadows in plain sight —

fox barks

Cinquain

I copied Adelaide Crapsey, a twentieth-century poet, who wrote cinquain with 22 syllables in five lines as a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 pattern. 

Her poems feel similar to Japanese tanka, another five-line form, and share a designed focus on imagery and the natural world.

A Northern Autumn, Cinquain

A Northern Autumn, Cinquain

milkweed 

bland carcasses — 

seeds have flown on the wind,

Monarchs  cruise in southern precincts —

instincts

c. Lemuel ’20

Instincts have to do with behaviors related to animals. Plants, bacteria and viruses exhibit tropisms or responses to the environment. In my imagination I can create a milkweed being no more attached to their seeds than a typical migratory butterfly would be to their eggs, Nemo and Marlin of “Finding Nemo” in the Great Barrier Reef notwithstanding.

I wrote this poem, as a cinquain, but for fun I adapted the form a little.

I relied upon Adelaide Crapsey, a twentieth-century poet who used a form of 22 syllables in five lines as a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 pattern. Some say her poems are similar to Japanese tanka, a five-line form, and share a designed focus on imagery and the natural world.

North 38th Parallel, Haibun

North 38th Parallel, Haibun

I make my circuit — a walk under wind-stripped oaks and maples. Then, over the little path, it twists through thickets of bare trees and hummocks once profuse with bloom. See, the dry creek is covered with a tarp. Leaves are ankle deep already.

After dinner I watch a waning sun light shadows that disappear into dark corners. I leave the porch for cheery fireside chair, my radio tuned to the “weekend”;   music,  hot tea,  and day old zucchini bread.

solitary

the evening fox —

of the hedgerow world