This is week two of The Autumn Equinox (September 22 – October 7) Shubun 秋分 for Colleen Chesebro’s new #TankaTuesday challenge based on the 24 Japanese seasons.
My kigo (season) word is Homecoming as in high school and college Homecoming events. This is one I have made up, but for me it represents mid-Autumn, the Autumn Equinox. I have a second kigo for a second poem. I used bonfire because although we had them both summer and fall, the fall ones were the ones that seemed magical, almost mystical.
I wanted to choose a syllabic form that is new to me, and I was intrigued by one that Colleen shared last time.
From the 24 Forms/kouta:
The kouta is a popular Japanese verse form of the Muromachi Period, 14th thru 16th century. They resurrected the lyrical song as a geisha song in the late 1800s and it’s still popular today. Koutas were originally meant to be sung out loud, like many other old forms of poetry. Techniques like assonance and consonance would fit right in with the form, but they aren’t required.
The kouta has several variations, though always short in only 4 lines a 5th line is sometimes is added. Themes reflect ordinary life and often use colloquialisms and onomatopoeia. The most popular are love songs.
We write kouta in four lines but sometimes five, that tends to celebrate the average person’s everyday life in song.Colleen Chesebro
The kouta lines are always an odd number of syllables, usually 5 or 7 mixed, such as 7-5-7-5- or 7-7-7-5.
My son in a new black suit, (7)
daughter in semi-formal, (7)
their dates the first future glimpse. (7)
All are shiny smiles. (5)
Bring on Homecoming! (5)
One year we had a bonfire (7)
post our winning game. (5)
The smell of woodsmoke, night breeze, (7)
the high point before (5)
the descent toward winter. (7)
I looked up toward to see if it is one or two syllables. Two!