March Writing Challenge | Day 23

Today I have written a lesser known form of Japanese poetry, a sedoka. A sedoka poem is a call and response poem. It is two love poems put together, made up of two katauta verses. In the first verse one lover poses a question to their love. The second verse is the partner’s reply, also written as a katauta. A katauta is a verse which has a 5-7-5 or 5-7-7 pattern and is often called incomplete when alone. I learnt about these forms of poetry here.

Find full details of the challenge here.


I’m sorry my love,
But I did not forget you.
Can you forgive me?

You flew like a dove,
Away. But you came back too.
Past this, for you, I can see.

Translation:

Sorry I left.

It’s okay.

One thought on “March Writing Challenge | Day 23

  1. This is indeed one of the most ancient forms of Japanese verse and features in the Manyoshu, the oldest extant collection of Japanese poetry. Two of the most skilled exponents were the nobleman Otomo no Yakamochi and his lover Lady Ki. A sedoka attributed to them is featured in the wonderful anime film “The Garden of Words”:

    A faint clap of thunder
    clouded skies – perhaps rain comes.
    If so, will you stay here with me forever?

    A faint clap of thunder
    clouded skies – whether it rains or not
    I will stay here with you, forever.

    Like

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