New to Me Poetry – Sedoka: Dark Nights


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Lonely lover walks
streets gilded with broken hope
plastic smiles for leering men
Virtue-less man stalks
woman trying to survive
pain shared with Mother’s stand-in

This poem is my attempt at a Sedoka. A Sedoka is comprised of two three-line katauta. For those that just went “Whaaaa….?”, a katauta is Japanese form of poetry that consists of three un-rhymed lines with a syllable count of 5/7/7.

So a Sedoka comprises six lines that break down like so:

Line 1 – 5 syllables

Line 2 – 7 syllables

Line 3 – 7 syllables (completes first katauta)

Line 4 – 5 syllables (begins second katauta)

Line 5 – 7 syllables

Line 6 – 7 syllables (completes second katauta)

A Sedoka can address the same subject from different perspectives. If you are still confused…my apologies. Click here for more examples.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn


9 thoughts on “New to Me Poetry – Sedoka: Dark Nights

  1. You teach me something new once more. 🙂
    Sad tale but written very well. You just do not stop with so much writing.

    • I found a great website that lists various forms of poetry, complete with examples. I think I may try my hand at one a week until I run out of forms. I’m dipping my toe in with the easy ones first 😉 I’m glad to know that I’m not the only that didn’t know what this was!

      • I think I went blank in my literature classes when it came to so many forms of poetry. Is that possible?
        I am just now getting okay with a haiku or two….oh wait I did that cinquian. 🙂

  2. Love it! Well written and a great (sad) message!

    • Thank you, Kayla! Oddly enough, the separate katauta are traditionally used when addressing a lover, and are considered half-poems. The form seems to open up when two are combined for the Sedoka (I certainly didn’t address a lover 😉 ). Thanks for reading!

  3. Love that you are trying all these new forms because I learn something new all the time from you 🙂

  4. […] to inspiration….again…..from J. Milburn over at this is my first attempt at a Sedoka. I love his blog because he tries out new forms and then […]

  5. I hadn’t seen this poetry form before. Fun idea to try a new one each week!

    • Amreen Shaikh over at Paint The World With Words has a challenge where she introduces a new poetry form each week. If she has one I haven’t tried, I’ll do it as part of the challenge. If I have done it, I’ll still participate, but then I’ll choose a different one to experiment with later in the week, although I think I’ll give the Epic a pass 😉

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