Ronovan Writes Sijo Wednesday Poetry Challenge #34. Use DANCE as your inspiration this week.

Dancing. In the US there is a tradition about this time of year called the Homecoming Dance. It’s a point during the high school football season (American Football) where alumni of the school come back to watch the game, see each other again, and the school tries to make sure they schedule a team they know they can defeat. Who wants to lose on their Homecoming Night?

The Homecoming Dance is a big deal for the students. It’s often the first time a guy wears a tuxedo and the girls wear a ball gown. Or at least a special gown they’ll likely only wear once. The guy rents his tux. The boy can hopefully pick the girl up in his car, give her flowers, be intimidated by the father, or possibly by the glare of a mother. The father tells the boy that whatever he does to his daughter, the father will do to him. Anything. The daughter is embarrassed and the fun begins.

I never went to a homecoming dance. I always seemed to be at a new school for a bit then moved back to what I still call my school. My father’s work had us moving a bit. He was a very talented man. I think it hurt me in many ways but overall I had opportunities and experiences I think my old classmates probably didn’t. It was a county school, many not close to a city, while all the other schools I went to were in major populace areas, such as a part of Greater Atlanta, and a University town. Both were the first time I met people of so many different cultural backgrounds.

The only dance I ever went to was a prom in my 11th year of school. I danced one dance. No date. The part I enjoyed most was helping decorate the venue for the dance.

Use the above link to discover the various interpretations of the word of the week. Don’t limit yourself to the first one that comes to mind. Expand your thinking.

A new form of poetry for us to try. Yes, the Décima Challenge has come to an end after 100 weeks.

Now we have the Sijo, a Korean form believed to have first been used in the fourteenth century. It is similar in structure to various Japanese forms such as Haiku. As with many forms of poetry, the Sijo became a preferred poetry form of the yangban or ruling class as well as royalty. They were written in Chinese and were originally short songs set to music. The focus of the Sijo is usually nature and contemplation. We’ll try that to begin with.

You should use the word in the title of this post as your inspiration as either a theme of the Sijo or in the poem itself.

There are:

  • Three Lines
  • 14-16 syllables per line
  • A total of 44-46 syllables for the entire poem.

To know how many syllables in a particular word try

  • The first line of the Sijo usually sets the theme.
  • The second line elaborates on the first line.
  • The third line brings the poem matter to a close.

The setting can be nature, a favorite season, or some event of your day. Something, as I mentioned above that can be contemplative in nature.

Within each of the three lines there is usually a pause. You can hear it in the example below. The bold sections are the parts after the pause, or at least as I read/hear them. Reading your Sijo out loud will help with using the correct form.

The following example is considered the oldest Sijo in existence,

The spring breeze melted snow on the hills then quickly disappeared.
I wish I could borrow it briefly to blow over my hair
And melt away the aging frost forming now about my ears.

If I’m counting right there are 15 syllables per line. I think that would be a good target but the pattern is up to you, as per the generally held thoughts on the matter.


As with all of the challenges that have been hosted here be sure to;

  1. Copy and past your URL into the comments below so other poets can visit and read your
  2. You can also put the link of this challenge in your post to let your followers know where to go if they want to participate. This is called a Pingback. This is not mandatory to join in or to put your post link in the comments. Click HERE to find out how to do a Pingback.
  3. Reblogging is great as well.

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