Writing prompt of the day: Write a sijo poem.

Writing prompt of the day: Write a sijo poem.

The sijo poetic form (pronounced see-szo or she-szo) originated from the lyrical verse of Korean song over 1,000 years ago. It is traditionally a three line poem of 14-16 syllables per line. The musical quality vital to sijo is achieved by dividing each line in half by a pause with 6-9 syllables on either side of it. Each half line can be divided again into 3-5 syllable phrases.

The sijo typically focuses on nature, but, unlike haiku, it uses word play and metaphor. The sijo’s purpose may be to tell a story, examine an idea, or express an emotion using the following structure:

  • 1st line: Conflict--introduce a situation

  • 2nd line: Complication--turn the argument

  • 3rd line: Climax--provide closure with a twist in the first half of the line

Your challenge is to write your own sijo poem. The act of writing will satisfy your writer soul today.

Here is my attempt to write a sijo poem:

Some see truth as a blinding burden. They keep their eyes closed.

Cowards replace the sun with shadow and put their arms in chains

saying, “Better safe in a rotting cell than free to live, breathe, and feel.”

Your turn! Once you are finished, share your poem in the comment below.

And free the writer.

Rachel Michelle

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