Autumn I

a gogyohka. An untitled Japanese form of five lines. There is no syllable count per line but each line must be a short stand alone phrase. The lines can be between one word or more, but the phrase is brief. It was invented by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally to “five-line poem.” An off-shoot of the tanka form, the gogyohka has very simple rules: The poem is comprised of five lines with one phrase per line. That’s it.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”― John Howard Bryant

new born autumn
leaves still green
autumn blue sky overhead
grass is fading
hot weather still hovers

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 15:13:25

    It sounds wonderful… here the sky has been grey and dreary…


  2. Glenn A. Buttkus
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 15:23:00

    Perfection here in the NW of WA, cold mornings and blue sky sunny days. I am intrigued by this form, kind of a hybrid between tanka, Neruda sonnet, and American sentence; cool.


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 03, 2019 @ 15:29:37

      It actually is a Japanese form, five lines only. No rhymes. More of a take off on the tanka but no syllabic requirements. It didn’t even come close to Neruda and we all know the American Sentence got it start from Ginsberg who just couldn’t follow the rules for classic haiku. Eachh line has to be part of a phrase, but not necessarily a complete sentence and the phrase is brief. It can be about any subject you choose although because it is a Japanese form. I of course use it for nature based poetry. Would you believe I spent over an hour on the last American Sentence I wrote? And I spent two days on this. I am a perfectionist when it comes to Japanese forms and even, American Sentence. You know the American Sentence has to have 17 syllables and must be a complete sentence – which restricts it. This is almost free form poetry – except each phrase must stand alone. Whew!

      I wish it were cool here. The high today is 96 and we are in full drought mode.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  3. kim881
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 15:31:15

    Thank you, Toni, for introducing me to the gogyohka. I must try it soon. I like the quote from John Howard Bryant, which you’ve interpreted so beautifully.


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 03, 2019 @ 15:46:05

      You are welcome. There are no syllabic or rhyme requirements. The only thing is each short phrase must stand alone. I am still working on that! And five lines only. It is sort of like a modern tanka. I don’t pick the quote and then interpret it. I pick the quote after I write the poem and use it to extrapolate or interpret the poem.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10



    Oct 03, 2019 @ 15:55:04

    Beautifully well written. 🙂


  5. Misky
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 16:14:19

    It sounds idyllic.


  6. Linda Lee Lyberg
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 17:06:19

    Lovely Toni! I really like the form as well.


  7. sanaarizvi
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 18:08:28

    Gorgeously rendered, Toni 🙂


  8. Grace
    Oct 03, 2019 @ 18:26:26

    I want the hot weather but its so cold here. Lovely form Toni.


  9. rivrvlogr
    Oct 04, 2019 @ 10:09:50

    You’ve captured that in-between time.


  10. Vivian Zems
    Oct 04, 2019 @ 14:06:39

    A fascinating form. Separate lines, but as a whole-
    describe a fading Autumn. Good one!


  11. memadtwo
    Oct 04, 2019 @ 15:58:30

    I like the idea of autumn being newborn. We don’t usually think of it as young. (K)


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