Two Summer Gogyohka

dusty flints
crunch underfoot
rusty orange
butterflies dance
down a stony lane

long hot days
deep blue skies
still and windless
following the sun
until it goes down

Kim M. Russell, 12th August 2018

Image result for rusty orange butterflies on a stone path
Image found on Pinterest

My response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #45 Gogyohka, a modern way of writing/creating tanka, also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry

This weekend meditation is a ‘trip along memory-lane’ feature: ‘Little Ones’, in which we were introduced to other small forms of poetry. The form is a modern way of tanka writing known as ‘gogyohka’, invented by Enta Kusakabe.

Gogyohka is a new form of poetry which was developed in Japan. Gogyohka simply means verse which is written in five lines, each of which consists of one phrase; it has a different feel to five-line verse commonly found in Western poetry. The idea was to take the traditional form of tanka poetry (which is written in five lines) and liberate its structure, creating a freer form of verse.

A traditional tanka is based on a 5,7,5,7,7 syllable pattern. For languages such as English, however, it is difficult to compose verse within these restraints. Non-Japanese tanka is, therefore, written freely in five lines, like Gogyohka.

30 thoughts on “Two Summer Gogyohka

    1. just to clarify, upon further investigation:

      Gogyoshi is a japanese form of poetry invented by Taro Aizu. Gogyohka predates it – Enta Kusakabe came up with the concept in 1957 and actively started promoting it in the 1990s. And for some reason, gogyohka is “recognized” as an “official” type of Japanese poetic form, whereas, gogyoshi isn’t. (and no, I have no idea why). Although similar, very similar, there are subtle differences. I think part of what contributes to the “confusion” is the closeness in names. In my thoughts though, they are both equally fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the helpful information, Pat. I read Toni’s comment and wasn’t sure what the difference was. The differences between the different forms are often so subtle it’s hard to tell them apart. I feel on familiar ground with haiku and tanka!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yes, for someone as seasoned as you are with haiku and tanka, a new looser form is different. I too wasn’t sure about Toni’s comment (in the sense of just wondering) so research yielded some results. (which I’ve also shared with Chèvrefeuille) … because there is, from what I’ve so far gathered, not alot of differences between the two forms of 5 liners. So this is interesting too. So a little wealth of ideas shared and here we are … a form that I really like (I’m too “loose for words”) to get haiku down yet, but still, I’ll play 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was reading that, and thought, well, that’s just kind of “weird” … but hey, whatever works or doesn’t. I find it a bit of blurred zoned anyhow, but am glad you had mentioned this here … because it’s definitely an interesting form.


      4. I have written them before for micropoetry prompts. It is a form that almost isn’t. Five lines. That is it. It is almost idiot proof. No rhymes, no syllables, no anything. Just five lines. Certainly the simples of the Japanese forms.


  1. Interesting form and reads so well when spoken reflecting the lazy hot summer day. (PS I had to laugh at the date by you name, 12th August 20108; you are so much ahead of the rest of us!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for letting me know about the date, Robin! It’s my arthritic fingers and it’s so frustrating as I used to be a fast, accurate typist. It’s worse when I use my Kindle. 😉


  2. Very lovely verse Kim! I like the wordplay you’ve used, dusty flints, the crunch underfoot, rusty butterflies and then how you go onto link the two verses by calling on the stillness of the day, the heat, and of course, the sunset …. lovely and a very inspired use and thought on “orange” too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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