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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Japanese Verse

Shintaishi or New Style poetry from the late 19th century was originally inspired by Japanese translations of Western Poetry, Shakespeare, Longfellow and Thomas Gray. It gradually evolved to retain the eloquent imagery of Japanese poetry but was more fluid and lengthier than the more familiar haiku and tanka.

The elements of the shintaishi are:

  1. strophic with no prescribed number of lines.
  2. syllabic, the number of syllables are at the discretion of the poet. A popular pattern is 12 syllables per line with caesura after the 7th syllable, retaining the 7-5 pattern of traditional Japanese poetry.
    An English translation of the opening of Ode to Liberty by Komuro Kutsuzan found in Dawn to the West pg200.

    In Heaven I will be a free ghost,
    O Earth I will be a free man.
    O Liberty, Ah Liberty, Liberty O
    The ties that bind us together
    Were pledged by Heaven, Earth and Nature
    To last a thousand, nay, eight thousand generations,

    As long as the world will last:
    How can these bonds vainly be broken?
    And yet, there are in this world
    Clouds that hide the moon,
    winds that scatter the blossoms;
    Man is not the master of his fate.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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