The World Outside – a Sijo

Tonight over at dVerse Samuel asks for a sijo. The fact that he stressed the importance of ‘musical quality’ does not bode well for me. My work typically has a distinct lack of a focus on meter or the lyrical. But I do like many of the short asian forms (and, or course, I need a post for NaPoWriMo) so it is worth an attempt. I did go with six lines instead of the traditional three; long lines still bother me more often than not.


The World Outside

Plastic plants in the living room,
green vases with dried flowers,

we pretend nature is inside,
while beyond the window color lives.

Remember youthful days of play,
breathe deep of all nature offers.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

15 responses to “The World Outside – a Sijo

  1. when i was young we used to play outside all day…mom would have to threaten us to get us in the house…ha…not these days…and we face plant the house to give us the feel of life…oy…what are we doing?

  2. Mark, this is musical, despite what you said. Very well done.

  3. I would agree – there is a definitely musical undercurrent to this composition – and the flow from thesis to development to conclusion feels an inevitability of rhythm.

  4. Personally I don’t have any plastic plants..but dried inside is ok…;)
    This is musical..i agree.

  5. ha…i don’t like plastic plants…we always also have a real christmas tree…just love the scent of nature in the house and even better to go and see them in the forest and the flowers on the meadows..

  6. It’s all too easy to be too inward looking or lose time for appreciating nature, this is a good reminder.

  7. Plastic, dried out life – a scary image. I like the “call to action” at the end – gives hope. I like your sijo.

  8. ..aww.. go out and feel life… the more you caged your self the more you mised a living… smiles…

  9. Listen to Samuel. He knows what-of he speaks. For your eye to start getting used to, recast the poem in three lines somewhere where you will see it every now and then. I still am working on long lines, but what I do know is that when I write one, I feel liberated.

    • I did actually have it in three lines to start, then broke it up. But even when I was writing I segmented it into the lines as they are now, using the 3-5/3-5 format. (of course, looking at them now my ‘margo training’ goes into effect and I feel the need to reverse the lines of the 1st and last stanzas) 🙂 One of the many things I need to work on. I get past 8-10 syllables and I am looking for a break. Kind of like the statistics homework I am supposed to be working on right now….

      • Good instincts there :-). I like the reversal of the stanzas, if you are looking for the surprise effect of many of the Asian forms.

        I even have UNEVEN lines, now. I know! Even more liberating.

        I just did my first erasure, but am going to have to wait for Skip to come home to get it in a format I can post.

        What are you doing reading this, hmmmm? Don’t you have work to do? 😀

      • I was actually just thinking of reversing the lines with the stanzas, but your idea has merit too. 🙂

        Oh, I am quite comfortabel with the uneven lines. A result of no real education in the subject and writing just as a form of expression and experimentation. Going at it backwards I suppose.

        Erasure I have not done yet, but I can see it being interesting. Maybe I will try it with a transcript of a recent political speech…. 😉 It HAS been 5 days since I tried to write something to piss people off.

  10. We used to be outside all the time in the summer; nowadays most kids hardly ever seem to be let out of their parents’ sight.

  11. Yes the outside – that dirty place of soil and greenery.. better to have clean plastic inside…. (irony)

  12. Good slijo. Plastic plants: yuk!

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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