A Lesson by Dinesh Sairam

Rounding it up!


"Waka" in the general sense, means "Poetry from Japan." It's the big head under which numerous poetry formats were segregated. But ever since Haiku and Senyru became so famous, they have been removed from the list and now exist on their own world. And to be more realistic, no other form of Waka has been so frequent as these two.

The only other known form is, perhaps, the Tanka. There are still more underdogs in this category as seen below:

Katauta5-7-7One half of an exchange of two poems; the shortest type of waka.
Chōka5-7-5-7-5-7...5-7-7Repetition of 5 and 7 on phrases, with a last phrase containing 7 on. Mainly composed to commemorate public events, and are often followed by a hanka orenvoy.
Numerous chōka appear prominently in the Man'yōshū, but only 5 in the Kokinshū.
Tanka5-7-5-7-7The most widely-composed type of waka throughout history.
Sedōka5-7-7-5-7-7Composed of two sets of 5-7-7 (similar to two katauta). Frequently in the form of mondōka (問答歌 "dialogue poem") or an exchange between lovers.
Bussokusekika5-7-5-7-7-7One extra phrase of 7 on added to the end of a tanka.      

on the mantel
no one
looks like that
Bob Lucky.

Next Lesson
Previous Lesson


Subscribe Subscribe


16 Subscribers
Added on September 16, 2012
Last Updated on March 6, 2013
My Rating

Login to rate this


Dinesh Sairam
Dinesh Sairam

Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India

Follow @DineshThePoet An aspiring poet from the shady regions of Southern India. Inspired by the capital-G Great poets like William Shakespeare, Matuso Basho, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Willia..