The sedoka


mountain, snow


When you return, love.
I will be in the mountains,
kissing the breath of cold sky.

It’s warmer here, love,
than the chaise beside the hearth
where you burrow with the cat.


For the full story about sedoka, visit the dVerse website.

Meanwhile, here is a summary:

“The sedoka is an unrhymed poem consisting of two tercets with a scheme of 5-7-7 and 5-7-7 syllables, a total of 38 syllables containing idea more subtly complex than a tanka but much less complex than a choka.

Each verse presents an independent thought, and is called a katauta, literally a half-song. This suggests that the sedoka’s origins are musical in nature, some sedoka repeat the third and sixth lines, like a refrain, though this isn’t a rule.

The poem’s two verses usually provide two perspectives on the theme, with a sharp division after the third line, and a soft turn after line five, before the conclusion.

Often the first verse will describe a natural image or scene, and the second verse the same scene from a different perspective, or a philosophical or emotional reaction to the first.

Together, the two katautas embody the full theme of the sedoka.”

Sadly, Sedoka has already fallen into disuse, and thus is a dying form.


31 thoughts on “The sedoka

  1. Had this started ‘Dear John’, it certainly wouldn’t have carried the weight it does now. A powerful, slap-in-the-face piece. And why is she borrowing in that chaise? Great from and writing. -Mike

  2. Now that is one powerful insult! The first line had me thinking “Oh, here’s comes a nice little romantic poem.” Was I ever wrong. You were able to create such a complete image in a short form. Great writing!

  3. Well done. Interesting thing happened – I read this first as an email (from ‘follow’) and it arrived without the photo, so I had no clue about the visual base. I interpreted it quite differently after re-reading it with the piccie. A really good write!

  4. yes, the call of the wild, to sleep in the mountains in a down bag!
    Good use of the form, too, to convey the feelings. reads like a note left on the kitchen table

Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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