Misery, or: High school

A sijo

one quarter of a century
  has passed since my escape
freedom's inevitability
  served to make time's passage worse
my monstrous misery 
  grew exponentially... consuming me

‘Ronovan Writes’ poetry challenge

Sijo Wednesday #9

Ronovan encourages poets to use the word ‘high school’ as their inspiration, as either a theme of their sijos or in their poem themselves.


A Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka and comprised of three lines of 14-16 syllables each, for a total of 44-46 syllables. Each line contains a pause near the middle, similar to a caesura, though the break need not be metrical. The first half of the line contains six to nine syllables; the second half should contain no fewer than five. Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a “turn,” and the third provides closure. Modern sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

21 thoughts on “Misery, or: High school”

  1. It isn’t easy, even as I observe and consider all the pauses in this poignant Sijo,
    Very difficult, primary, secondary, college and the witchhunt at the end of it all…
    There were, and there are still glorious moments that I should gather
    Jump up high
    With full appreaciation and thank you.

      1. I admit I was steered in the wrong direction and made bad choices. It might have worked out better. Although maybe it’s just me. My younger daughter never warmed up to school, really, and neither did I.

  2. Yep. HS was an awkward stage and I was a very awkward girl – and smart enough to realize just how nerdish and out of step with my peers I really was. That just fed the weird. Then I found my tribe and life was excellent!!

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