Lynn is our guest pubtender today for d’Verse Poetics. Her prompt is taken from Harper Lee’s newly found book, Go Set a Watchman. She wants us to write about who or what is our social watchman, if we have a message to proclaim, to write a dialogue between a watchman and those he watches…the title of the book is from Isaiah 21:6 (KJV). She also uses a quote from the book where Atticus talks to Scout – “Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman is his conscience.
I chose to use a Japanese poetic form dodoitsu (都々逸) for this prompt and the lonely job of the watchman. The Japanese word for watchman is yomawari – both poetry form and word for watchman come from the Edo period. The Dodoitsu is a 26 syllable, non-rhyming poem of 5-7-7-7 syllable line counts. It can be about work or love and is usually humorous. However, the subject and tone is not required; there are many poems about nature and life and are sometimes wistful, bittersweet, or melancholy depending on the subject and theme. Unlike haiku, the first line does not have to contain a season word nor, unlike the similar senryu, it is not a 5-7-5 syllable count.
I hope you all will come visit us today for all the different takes on this most interesting and thoughtful prompt. Not only visit to read the Pubtalk but also to read and comment on the poems. I hope you will also link one of your poems. COMING SOON!!!! HAIBUN MONDAY!! http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/01/poetics-what-does-the-watchman-see
under winter stars
the watchman plods sleeping streets –
from his flask he sips sake’ –
and longs for his cozy hut.