Our (optional) prompt for the day is to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise. For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.
With the increasing number of covid cases, deaths, lack of hospital beds and situations returning to what they were a year ago, it’s hard to think of anything else. So, I wrote a sijo based on the current happenings. All three lines have 16 syllables as per the rules.
My sijo – We shall overcome
We’re reeling headlong into an abyss, sucked into a whirlpool
Our bodies the trojan horse, transporters of the devil, play host
Do not be fooled, we are building our weapons, we shall overcome.
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