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Korean poetic form:
•3 lines in length, averaging 14-16 syllables per line (for a poem total of 44-46 syllables).
•Line 1 introduces the situation or theme of the poem.
•Line 2 develops the theme with more detail or a “turn” in argument.
•Line 3 presents a “twist” and conclusion.
•Sijo are meant to be songs, so this form is more lyrical.
•Poems can be profound, humorous, metaphysical, and personal.
•Each line should have a pause (or break) somewhere in the middle.
•First half of the final line employs a “twist” of meaning, sound, or another poetic device.
Sijo are lyrical and meant to be sung, the lines have a traditional syllable break:
•Line 1: 3-4-4-4
•Line 2: 3-4-4-4
•Line 3: 3-5-4-3
This last part is more flexible than the overall syllable count per line and poem.
An example sijo:
“Orbit” by Robert Lee Brewer
I tell her we’re always alone, but she says we’re together
the same as the moon spins with the earth around the sun.
If they weren’t together, she tells me, we would not be alive.