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Friday, August 10, 2018
Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #45 Gogyohka, a modern way of writing/creating tanka
!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 12th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Welcome at a new weekend-meditation. This time I have a nice "trip along memory-lane" feature for you. Maybe you can remember our special feature "Little Ones", a feature in which I introduced other small forms of poetry. For this weekend I have done that too.
For this weekend meditation I have chosen a modern way of tanka-writing known as "gogyohka", a poetry form invented by Enta Kusakabe. I had never heard of this poetry form, but as I read about `gogyohka` on the website Finger Printing Eyes of Pat my attention was immediately caught.
Gogyohka is a nice new way of writing - creating tanka and here is how it works:
Gogyohka is a new form of poetry which has been developed in Japan. Gogyohka simply means verse which is written in five lines, but each line generally represents one phrase and has a different feel to five-line verse commonly found in Western poetry.
I wasted time,
not to be,
If you make each short phrase stand alone as a separate line in this way, then you have something a little different to what is generally considered standard 5-line verse in the Western sense.
This new form of verse was developed by a poet called Enta Kusakabe. The idea was to take the traditional form of Tanka poetry (which is written in five lines) and liberate its structure, creating a freer form of verse. Kusakabe, who was born in 1938, first came up with the concept in 1957. From the 1990s onwards he began his efforts to spread Gogyohka as a new movement in poetry, and there are now around half a million people writing this form of verse in Japan.
There is a long tradition of lay people writing short poetry in Japanese society (currently there are around three million Japanese writing Haiku, one million writing Tanka and one million writing Senryu).
Traditional Tanka is based on a 5,7,5,7,7 syllable pattern. For languages such as English, however, it is difficult to compose verse within these restraints. Non-Japanese Tanka is, therefore, written freely in five lines, like Gogyohka. That is to say, Gogyohka is already being written internationally in the form of Tanka.
While a degree of freedom is inevitable in Tanka, in the case of Gogyohka the freedom of the verse is natural, and this can be used to great effect: the freedom of expression in Tanka is passive, whereas the freedom in Gogyohka is active and vibrant.
Kusakabe believes that all languages share an inherent quality, that words are a form of breath which can be uttered and felt. He came to the conclusion that this kind of poetry would work in any language and that writing it would help people to develop their thoughts. He resolved to spread the word about Gogyohka around the world.
There are a few people in New York who have already joined the Gogyohka cause, so Kusakabe decided to begin his global mission there.
What kind of
It's a wonderful kind of poetry I think, but I couldn't come up with a good "gogyohka", because I have to dive somewhat deeper in this matter. Therefore it's a great idea to make the "gogyohka" the theme for this weekend-meditation.
This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday August 12th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until August 19th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend.