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Poetry Pleases: Sijo

Anne Steward introduces us to the ancient Korean poetic form, Sijo, presenting two of her own poems written in this form.

Open Writing readers are invited to try their hand at writing Sijo.

Korean Sijo evolved from ancient Chinese patterns, as did Haiku and other Japanese genres.

Traditionally Sijo is composed in three lines of 14 to 16 syllables each. A pause breaks each line approximately in the middle. Modern Sijo may appear with the natural break marking a new line, so being presented in 6 lines.

The first line introduces a situation or problem, the second line develops the theme and the third presents a resolution with a twist of sound or meaning.

His Room

I grieve his leaving; his presence lingers in shadows.
His voice echoes ghostly in the bookish cave of his room.
But still I have his words to feed my soul; to sustain my life.


Books are as windows wide open into lives others live.
Teaching is joyful sharing of the need and means to know,
Guiding strengthening footsteps; to stride always away.


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