Author Topic: Sijo School  (Read 2947 times)

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witt

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Sijo School
« on: December 07, 2008, 12:27 PM »
I made this thread especially for Mystic. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

I gleaned this information here: http://www.ahapoetry.com/sijo.htm

More ancient than haiku, the Korean SIJO shares a common ancestry with haiku, tanka and similar Japanese genres. All evolved from more ancient Chinese patterns.
Sijo is traditionally composed in three lines of 14-16 syllables each, totaling between 44-46 syllables. A pause breaks each line approximately in the middle; it resembles a caesura but is not based on metrics.

Each half-line contains 6-9 syllables; the last half of the final line is often shorter than the rest, but should contain no fewer than 5.

The sijo may be narrative or thematic, introducing a situation or problem in line 1, development or "turn" in line 2, and resolution in line 3. The first half of the final line employs a "twist": a surprise of meaning, sound, tone or other device. The sijo is often more lyrical, subjective and personal than haiku, and the final line can take a profound, witty, humorous or proverbial turn. Like haiku, sijo has a strong basis in nature, but, unlike that genre, it frequently employs metaphors, symbols, puns, allusions and similar word play.

Printing restrictions often cause Western sijo to be divided at the natural break and printed in 6 lines. Some translators and poets have adopted this technique, so modern sijo may appear in either 3 or 6 lines.

Sijo may be highly repetitive. Phrases may be repeated or echoed, a trait revealing the sijo's heritage to be sung or chanted. Meter is not vital, but that musical link should no be overlooked.

You ask how many friends I have? Water and stone, bamboo and pine.
The moon rising over the eastern hill is a joyful comrade.
Besides these five companions, what other pleasure should I ask?

~Yon Son-do (1587-1671)

I hope that others will join me in writing and enjoying this wonderful poetry form.

Here is my first attempt:

Vanishing into wispy clouds, time seems to disappear
The great magician's trickery fools the best of us
Time evanesces much too quickly; keep it in a jar.

Offline Mystic1

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 04:30 AM »
By George, I think I've got it...finally.

lost in green, as I am; hiding surreptitiously from view
within this pine‘s shadow; I listen, intent on hearing truth. 
cherry blossom floats on softest air; your whispers of love.



Arti, I showed you mine...now you show me yours.

I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

witt

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 05:49 AM »
I was at a Christmas party at my publisher's house yesterday. It was full of writers and professors. I was talking with a prof and telling him about my newly discovered form, sijo. He wasn't familiar with it, so I tried to explain the intricacies. He didn't seem too impressed. I was a bit crestfallen. This morning it occurred to me that he was probably embarrassed that he didn't know what a sijo was and was caught off-guard.

I felt a bit out of place with all these learned folks, but what amazed me is that as the party progressed, I discovered that they were in awe of ME! Can you believe it? They had brought works that they were supposed to share, and some were reading my poems aloud and making references to my work. What a shockerooney!

I was off in another room, searching for a bathroom when I heard my name being called. The lady who had written The Prince with the Golden Hair had come to the party so that she could meet me in person. We had never had a face-to-face. I had done the illustrations for her book. (That book is in the SplashTrader section way-way back.)
 
Just so happened a lady was there, who used to work at a newspaper, took the Christmas poem that I had written last year. One of the gentlemen there had a copy that he had gotten from the publisher's brother. He had brought that poem to share with the group. I almost dropped my drawers! She's going to see if they will publish it this year.

I had dreaded going to this party, but as it turned out, I discovered that I was respected more than I knew. What a wonderful Christmas present that turned out to be.

Offline Mystic1

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 06:52 AM »
Okay, trying this again. First, congratulations, Witt.

I was surfing this morning to see if I could find any other pages on the history of Sijo, And I found one, but while relating that information, my electricity flickered...(It does that sometimes for no apparent reason.) And I lost everything.
 
I had written this long dissertation all about how I wasn't surprised that the gentlemen at your Christmas party was ignorant of Sijo, as it had not even been introdued to the West until 1986. Suffice to say I found the page I was looking for when the computer came back up. So, I'll just give the link and if you're interested you can read it for yourself.

http://thewordshop.tripod.com/Sijo/kisaeng.html

At the bottom of the page, there's a link to one poetess from the sixteenth century called Hanu (Han Woo) I think you might find this amusing...


Hanu, a pen name meaning Cold Rain, was one of the most talented Korean kisaeng (entertainers similar to geisha) during the reign of King Sonjo (r. 1567-1608). We know nothing else about her, not even her real name, except that she lived in Kaesong, the capital.

According to legend, at a party the poet Im Che sang a sijo honoring Hanu's beauty. In his verse he mentioned that he had traveled thru a cold rain to get to the celebration, and that he would likely freeze in bed as a result. She answered him immediately with the following verse.



Freeze in bed! How can you say that?
Why suffer in slumber that way?
How about a kingfisher quilt
and a mandarin pillow?
Having faced cold rain today,
Why not melt in her bed tonight?


Background:
 
"Cold rain" is a pun on Hanu, the kisaeng's name. Her quilt was evidently decorated with kingfishers—crested, long-beaked, brilliantly-colored birds— and her pillows were embroidered with mandarin ducks (won-ang sae).  G.  :blusmoke



I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

witt

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 07:04 AM »
Thanks, Mystic. I'll check that out!

Offline Voodoo Child

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2008, 08:09 PM »
I haven't created a Sijo yet, but, after reading your post, witt, I had to jump in!

A big congrats to you! Oh, what a time you must have had at that party! What a dream... to be recognized by your peers in such a way! I believe that you are worthy of praise for all the hard work you do. I am thrilled for you!  :rose

-Cookie
Cookie...

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." John Lennon

Offline Voodoo Child

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 02:05 AM »
Hidden deep in a primeval forest ; unseen by human eyes,
The beauty of its ancient facade, Keta Taisha remains unchanged,
Sacred shrine from a by-gone era enchants my dreams.





Cookie...

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." John Lennon

Offline Mystic1

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 03:15 AM »
Love that sijo, VC. Green is my favorite color.

I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

Offline Mystic1

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 03:17 AM »
beyond shuttered windows; upon cloistered stage of mind; she’s  free.
overtaken by cellular memory, she pirouettes.
leather-bound hands, dexterously maneuvering wheelchair.

I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

witt

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 06:12 AM »
I enjoyed both of those, Voo and Mystic!

Thanks for your kind words, Voo. I really appreciate it!

I sent the "rules" to that prof. He wrote me back that he hasn't had a chance to "study" them or read my first attempt. I think that he will be a little more impressed once he understands the nuances of the form.

Thanks, Mystic, for sharing this form with us. I am truly enjoying it.

Offline Soft Words

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 11:22 PM »
Here's my second one, G. Inspiration heavily stolen from your mandarin and kingfisher loving kisaeng.
My first ever sijo is on my 30:30 thread.

Threads of silk intertwine, sashay together down the ramp,
whispering invitations in secret tongues and subtle hints;
explorations are welcome behind closed doors and blindfolds.


Cookie, I love your sijo and the picture with it - it is really good to see you around.
Witt, that seems to have been one awesome party. I wish I could have been there, if only to say, "Yes, I know her!"
Maybe you should send the kisaeng story to the prof - it might actually kill off some of the intimidation factor of an ancient form. Just sayin' it made the sijo more interesting for me...  :tongue

:)
me.

Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Offline Mystic1

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2008, 12:37 AM »
I’m so glad everyone is enjoying this not so new form.
As we all know from my interview with our eteemed soon to be Dr. Subramanian,
(Who has taken to this Sijo business like a Mandarin to water,)
I am fascinated with all things ancient. There is no point in possessing knowldge, if it is not shared.

Quote
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery. ~ Anias Nin

There is much wonder and mystery in your latest sijo, Arti. Beautiful. G.

I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

Offline Mystic1

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2008, 12:42 AM »
fond recollections; those budding years spent in eternal spring.
dusty memories; warmth of your yielding hand, rambling autumn walks.
buried in lonely winter, how do I embrace...emptiness?
I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

Offline Soft Words

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Re: Sijo School
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2008, 12:51 AM »
what is emptiness? is it that moment no thought can survive,
that one instant when space is nothing but an empty vacuum?
or is it when emotions run so high, you just implode?

glad you enjoyed the sijo, G. :) you are full of surprises. I need to read some more about kids on fire, etc etc.

Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.