By dictate, or: Diction

A Sijo

thin broth; thick walls; thickheaded guards; 
thick metal bars; thin silence; 
prison alarm sounds; there's been a 
line break; beat shifts to raucous cheers; 
soup spills; words flow; bowls rattle; 
resounding battle for right  


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.


d’Verse poetics prompt: Uncaging the poet

At d’Verse, we are invited to write poems, using any form, that highlight the plights of those poets imprisoned for their craft.

My poem is written in honor of İlhan Sami Çomak who has been in a Turkish prison for 27 years. He was arrested at the age of 22 as a young activist and became a poet in prison.

Twiglets #325

thin silence

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!

37 thoughts on “By dictate, or: Diction”

  1. Incarceration spiking new global records
    Thickheaded guards
    trying to keep the lid on broiling discontent 
    Poet mastering the contrasts

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