Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Japanese Poetry

Poetry has been a major Japanese influence on the literature of many countries. Here are four types of ancient Japanese poetry:

Haiku: An unrhymed Japanese poem recording the essence of a moment. Nature is combined with human nature. It usually consists of three lines of 5/7/5, 17 syllables (kana) or less.

Senryu: A Japanese poem similar in structure to haiku, but more concerned with human nature, and is often humorous or satiric -- usually in three lines of 17 syllables (kana).

Tanka: An unrhymed Japanese poem consisting of five lines of 5/7/5/7/7, totaling 31 syllables (kana).

Kyoka: A poem in the tanka form but with the satirical, ironic, humorous aspects of senryu.

Here's my attempt at writing Japanese poetry:

The earth’s crust opens
The Roman God of fire
Erupt and release.

Sound democracy
salacious majority
win big, lose nothing.

On daddy’s lap
methodically, I ponder profusely:
time is running out
mother arrives
my visit ends abruptly.

Appointed official
unwavering to the world
benevolent to your family
calculated in your approach
who’s pulling your strings?

I'm a novice, but hope to progress as a writer of Japanese poetry!