As more die, or: As we did once

My 1st kasa (or gasa)

I feel guilty. People live
in terror, scared of COVID,
wearing face masks. Pandemic,
corona; bodies pile up.

Numbers don't lie, as more die
every day. But I'm just one
man with a child; and I want
her to thrive, grow up carefree,
attend first grade. Normalcy
is today's ~ new abnormal.

Still... her future... I want her
living free, as we did then.

d’Verse poetics 

Exploring the realm of Korean Literature

At d’Verse, we were instructed to either:

  1. Write a poem thatโ€™s loosely based on Korean folklore. You may opt to create a tale of your own in regard to a myth or legend you might have discovered, 0R
  2. Write a poem using the Poetic form โ€œKasa.โ€ The choice of topic is entirely up to you.

Kasa (or Gasa)

The Kasa (song-words) tends to be much longer than other forms of Korean poetry and is usually written in balanced couplets. It is:

  • Syllabic, 7-syllable lines broken by caesura into alternating groups of 3 and 4 syllables or 8 syllable lines broken by caesura into equal 4 syllable phrases. These options are guides with variables at the discretion of the poet;  
  • Strophic. Groups of variable numbers of lines as opposed to uniform stanzas;
  • Content is described or exposed through parallels. This is the heart of the form;
  • Written from unrequited love, patriotism, daily life, nostalgia, etc.

53 thoughts on “As more die, or: As we did once”

  1. Ah. So sad and yet we all want a normal that allows for the carefree childhood. I was just notified that the new recommendation is for all persons with moderate to severe immunocompromised status to get a vaccination booster. I am afraid that too many will refuse – just like they refuse to wear masks. Already the hospitals are filling up!

  2. A well-written, heartfelt poem, David. It is our instinct as parents to want to shield our children. The older they get, the harder this becomes, and it seems that the troubles of the pandemic often hit very close to home. Children in these times have hard lessons to learn very early. Take care!

    1. Unfortunately, there are so many things I can’t control… it feels like too many ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I can’t send her to school if the schools are closed down, for example ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude, Christine, but it’s hard ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. as a father who’s youngest child finished collage just as the first cases emerged in china . i can feel this with all my heart. which goes out to all parents.

    1. Thanks so much, Tom. It’s awful, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ’”

      BTW, please feel free to call me ‘David’ – that’s my first name. The word ‘ben’ in Hebrew just means ‘son of’… My pen name is confusing, I know! (sorry!)


  4. Oh this weighs heavy on my heart.. so beautifully worded and the form just flows seamlessly. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

  5. America suffers from the Delta variant and prideful misplaced stupidity. All this still lies at the feet of Trump, where death and cultism flourish. Your poem is so heartfelt and honest, it made me tight in the chest.

  6. My heart breaks over and over again at this:

    is today’s ~ new abnormal.

    Still… her future… I want her
    living free, as we did then.”

    David, I share your sentiments completely–and I’m sure most feel this way too. It’s making me reflect on how anti-social I was, how I should have cherished friendships and social outings more before the pandemic. Now there is a world of new fear as we keep going more into an unknown that’s making sci-fi accurate. I just was speaking to my doctor about this, and she’s even becoming hopeless for the world to return to a state it once was with normalcy This is our new normal.

    Very evocatively and beautifully written. I thank my lucky stars I did not have to grow up in times of COVID. So much death, so much illness, so much isolation, so many lockdowns. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for young children too, especially when being social is practically ingrained in our blood.

    1. Yeah… but when it’s a matter of life and death for so many people… it’s not easy to look them in the eyes and say that I don’t want another lock-down…

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