Chōka poetry test

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bodhisattva
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:11 pm

Chōka poetry test

Post by bodhisattva » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:35 am

The following poem is a test using lines of alternating five and seven syllables. An extra seven syllable line is at the end. This is an attempt to imitate the Japanese chōka, or "long poem" style in English. Experiments with different length lines resulted in the conclusion that 8 syllable lines were too difficult to read and write for this format. Four syllable lines were too short and conveyed too little information and worked better in a contemporary format with more varied line length. Four syllable lines were used at the beginning in this test, but it seemed that four syllables was all that was required in those line instances and brought focus to what would follow and often said what was to be said better in English than a five syllable sentence. Five, six, and seven syllable lines were easiest to work with using this format. Six syllable lines were later reformatted to five or seven syllable lengths during editing. A seventy-five line draft was written in about an hour to start the project and half a day was taken to experiment and format the poem into alternating syllable length lines. This is my first attempt at poetry in decades so comments and suggestions are welcome.

Title: Merciful Bodhisattva Kannon
by Lance Carlyle Carter

Kannon please listen
At this time of our distress
Kannon please see us
When we need your aid the most
Please appreciate
Our very deep and true prayers
Our cries for mercy
And our daily devotion
Our sighs of anguish
And our cries for compassion
Merciful Kannon
Hear us pleading for mercy
Hear our sincere prayers
Dear compassionate Kannon
Hear our sad moaning
Hear our sorrow and lament
Hear our shouts of pain
Hear as we beg and repent
Hear our suffering
Hear our grief and misery
Hear our painful groans
Hear us when we weep and wail
Save us from danger
When in a time of trouble
When storms are too strong
Guide us to a safe harbor
Fill our nets with fish
When starvation is at hand
Please help to save us
When flooding covers the land
When tsunami come
Kannon warn us before time
When air is poison
When the earth quakes and ground shakes
When help is too far
When none has a helping hand
Show great compassion
And please do what must be done
To solve this problem
Use miraculous powers
Handle things with ease
We turn to you now Kannon
To you we now beg
For mercy and compassion
And for salvation
Please help bring all those who wish
To paradise land
Those who leave this life behind
Go to a new life
To a place beyond this earth
Upon a lotus
To the Western Paradise
With no distractions
Favorable conditions
Help liberation
In the joy of the Pure Land
We do not call you
With things that are trivial
Our dire needs are real
To our very survival
There are great reasons
To ask Kannon for favors
And real miracles
When doctors have found no cure
Her intervention
When not a thing can be done
Can save anyone
She is most glad to appear
As someone helpful
Or like another person
Just to get things done
Kannon is appropriate
And assumes a form
To resolve tricky problems
The worst times are best
To ask Kannon for mercy
To ask for her compassion

July 24, 2018

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desert_woodworker
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Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chōka poetry test

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:38 pm

May the miraculous light of the incomparable Dharma continue to light the path of all of us. --Joe

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bodhisattva
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:11 pm

Re: Chōka poetry test

Post by bodhisattva » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:39 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:38 pm
May the miraculous light of the incomparable Dharma continue to light the path of all of us. --Joe
Possible conversion to Chōka:
Counting syllables:

Miraculous light 5
Of the incomparable 7
Dharma continues 5
To light the path of all of us 7
Joe the desert woodworker 7

Miraculous light
Of the incomparable
Dharma continues
To light the path of all of us.
-- Joe the desert woodworker

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desert_woodworker
Posts: 838
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chōka poetry test

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:04 am

Fortunately, Poets of the Universe
have Friendship with the Ultimate,
and shuttle their Knowledge in words
down to Nerds, who need their help.

We all can agree, if we can see,
that words are not just words,
but things that we can see,
...with eyes open on some part
of our head.

Before too long, be sure!,
we'll be agreeing with
what the Poet has ...said.

It's not too early, to know
the difference, sure,
between what's living,
and ...what's dead.

Stay alive!, don't live
for jive,
don't try for dreaming in your bed.
Get out and about, and further out,
among what's truly
your necessary "bout",
between the Living, and
the Dead.

No fisticuffs! Discernment
is enough. Not too tough!:
You can do this. It's true,
..."this".

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