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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > October 2017 > Poetry in practice

Poetry in practice

Doris Corti looks at the requirements of some short-form poems

Brevity is the requirement when writing certain forms. The haiku, with its three line count of 5, 7and 5 syllables (in lines one, two and three) is well known. There are other syllable count structures, including the tanka, which consists of five lines containing 31 syllables, 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 respectively. It is considered to be the classic short lyric form.

The naga-uta is another popular Japanese form which is well suited to lyrical verse. Two lines form the basic structure: the first line has 5 syllables and the second has 7. This pattern is repeated throughout the poem, which can be as long as the poet wishes.

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