Day 1 ~ How to write a Japanese Dodoitsu poem
Yay!! April has arrived (after a rather LONG March – but, hey, April is about to seem even longer with all of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” and social distancing directives across the nation) so I’m really happy that it is NATIONAL POETRY MONTH ~ something to keep us connected, get the creative juices flowing, and allow for some much-needed expression. Who’s ready to join me?
A poem a day for 30 days during the month of April ~ Many people reading this right now have done this poetry challenge with me before but I do hope we have some newbies this year. This is the EIGHTH year that I have done this poetry writing challenge so I want to add some different poetry forms but I also enjoy sticking with some of our favorite tried and true poems.
I’ve noticed with the coronavirus this year that people are already writing Haikus about it. Many are using the heading “Love in the time of COVID-19” as their topic. So, you can do that if you wish (and we will get to Haikus, eventually, because, well . . . Haiku), but I thought we would start out with a DIFFERENT Japanese poetic form for the first day of our challenge. Like many Japanese poetry styles, this one focuses on counting syllables – but not the same three lines of 5,7,5 syllables as the Haiku. We are going to write a DODOITSU poem today. Fun times!!!
Here’s a bit of background: Dodoitsu poems appeared around the late 1860s. They were favored by working-class citizens. The name’s translation is basically, “quickly, city to city.” Some say that it refers to the ease with which they were passed along. The Dodoitsu has even been called the “Japanese limerick” as most revolved around love, work, and daily life, from a humorous perspective; so as a general rule, they did not explore deep thoughts. But rather, they were used as a way to record those off-the-wall funny moments in one’s day. I have a dear friend who writes AT LEAST a poem a day and includes her poems in her journal as they usually reflect her day. See what you come up with.
Here is the format:
FOUR LINES: (only counting syllables – no rhyming required, nor excluded . . . just whatever).
The first 3 lines ALL HAVE SEVEN SYLLABLES.
And the 4th line has FIVE SYLLABLES.
That’s it ~ simple, right? Yeah, give it a try. Write as many as suits your fancy today.
Feel free to share your poems in the comments here on my blog (ALL CREATIVE WORK REMAINS THE PROPERTY OF THE AUTHOR) or in our FB group – you'll find the link below, or directly on your own FB wall, or Instagram, or your blog, or just keep a notebook of your poems this month – whatever suits your fancy. We DO love seeing each other’s poems though.
However, if you do share it on your own social media pages, please do not copy and paste these directions, but rather just link back to this page. See additional conditions below. Thanks.
Here is a VERY helpful syllable counter to double-check each line:
Here are my efforts for this (new to me – and probably you) poetry style:
Today our online art class
Critiqued each other’s artwork
© 2020 Stephanie Abney
(By way of explanation for these crazy "bra" photos - it was a 3-D piece of artwork that needed to include dye resist of the fabric and embroidery while depicting a "contradiction").
The internet is so slow
Because everyone is on
132 tabs open
Might be a problem
© 2020 Stephanie Abney
This is the link to our FB group – just ask to join:
PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they post them. Thanks so much!
Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work.