Your blinding glowing presence, lit up the dark room. Your enchanting so soft voice, calms all weary tunes. Your warm endearing blushed skin, touches inside out. Hence all’s in tears when they learned, your sudden demise.
It seems that whenever I research a Japanese form, it involves an alternating 5-7 or 7-5 syllabic structure. The Imayo (present style) of the 12th century is no exception. This form creates long lines broken by caesura separating 7 and 5 syllables in the line.
The Imayo is:
a 4 line poem.
syllabic, written in 12 syllable lines broken by caesura after the 7th syllable.
often a shape poem, the poem when centered on the page creates the outline of a diamond.
unmetered. The measure of the line is the words used. L1 – a noun which is the opposite of the noun used in L7 L2 – 2 adjectives that describe L1 L3 – 3 verbs (present participle) that describe what L1 does L4 – 4 nouns that are related to both L1 and L7 or nouns that both have in common L5 – 3 verbs (present participle) that describe what L7 does L6 – 2 adjectives that describe L7 L7 – a noun which is the opposite (antonym) of the noun used in L1
stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. It can also be written in octaves.
measured by number of words, 5 words per line.
tonal and end rhymed, end rhyme schem aaxa bbxb ccxc etc. x being unrhymed. When written in octaves the rhyme aaxaaaxa bbxbbbxb ect. The tonal scheme appears to be in alternating the flat and sharp sound in the 2nd and 4th words like the Tho Bon Chu.
DISCLAIMER: My dear friend Vijaya of StrangeLander 2015 shared to my two beautiful pieces with almost the same words as this poem:
“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That’s how awful the loss is.”
― Jay Neugeboren, An Orphan’s Tale
“Brenda: You know what I find interesting? If you lose a spouse, you’re called a widow, or a widower. If you’re a child and you lose your parents, then you’re an orphan. But what’s the word to describe a parent who loses a child? I guess that’s just too fucking awful to even have a name.”
As a writer, I always try to honour intellectual properties mostly words from someone’s mind. I personally haven’t read these two lovely pieces but we somehow shared the same theme, a parent’s loss, hence we share almost the same words.
For my part, this poem is written and inspired by the story by the death of Courageous Caitie. She is a 3-year old Filipina who has been diagnosed with a very rare type of blood cancer. Her family flew from the Philippines to Singapore to have a concrete diagnosis, as no local doctors were able to identify her illness.
I actually posted about her death here. So there. No plagiarism, no bad intention was intended when I wrote and posted this piece.
My heart hasn’t beaten, lungs didn’t breathe even. No one knows my fragile body was laid beneath the mango tree, behind a house that’s shabby, where she lived— my unknown mommy.
It was war time when she was raped, a faceless man brought her early grave. In split second, I felt the magnitude, of her pain, and love, her motherly attitude. But I am weak and I gave in, away from her arms towards hundred years of solitude.
*Spoon River Verseis a subgenre of Mask or Persona poetry. The term is inspired by the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, American Poet (1869-1950). The anthology is a series of poems written as if each poem was being spoken by the dead. The setting is a cemetery in an imaginary western town, Spoon River. The voices make up a ‘history’ of the town’s past residents and their relationships.
The Spoon River poem is a poem of voice. The poem speaks from and for a person, not necessarily the poet. The subject, diction and imagery should reflect the character who is speaking through the poem.
Spoon River Verse is:
framed at the discretion of the poet.
written in the voice of a character of a particular time and place. Usually the voice comes from the grave. The person, the era, the location should all be heard through the words of the poem.
For reasons I can’t figure out, the last two books that I have read are both about parents who died. Maybe this is God’s way of reminding me to show love as long as they are there. Because once a parent is gone, he is gone and you can do nothing about it.
As I expected, Albom has shown his writing prowess especially about life after death. This novel is a short read but it is indeed ‘meaty’.
The story is about Charles ‘Chick’ Benetto who has become so broken after his mom Pauline ‘Posey’ died. As a son, Chick long for his father’s approval and love. As he strives to be a daddy’s boy, he unconsciously ignores the love that her mom has been giving him. He just realized how much his mom meant in his life after she died.
The story’s premise is plain yet it moved me.Albom has written the whole novel with the right amount of humor and emotion. His dialogues are not trying hard, they are just realistic.
I like how he inserted Chick’s ‘Times My Mother Stood Up For Me’ and ‘Times I Did Not Stand Up For My Mom’. Those life events are realistic and either heartbreaking or touching at the same time.
He ingeniously end and begin a scene in a vivid manner that you can clearly understood what is happening. You can never be lost in his way of storytelling.
Lastly, I like the ‘heart’ of the story.Well, all Albom books possess ‘heart’. This is not a thrilling or even fantastic novel as compared to the new modern novels, but the heart of the novel speaks for itself. The words are alive and it tugs the heart in a very special way.
THE TEARJERKER MOMENT:
The scene that put me close to tears was when Posey indirectly admitted that she cleaned houses to have enough money to send Chick and her sister in college. Albom niftily wrote the scene in the best way that can make the reader realized his point; there is nothing that a mother cannot and will not do for her child.
It is such a touching scene as Chick realized how much her mom loved him and how much he would have wanted to change the way he had behaved towards her mom.
THE HEART-TUGGING LINES:
“That’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going into every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone.” – Chick
“When you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” – Chick
PICKED UP WISE WORDS:
“Kids chase the love that eludes them.”
“There is everything you know and there is everything that happens. When the two do not line up, you make a choice.”
“Don’t you ever tell a child something’s too hard.”
“Reading is like talking.”
“When a lost loved one appears before you, it’s your brain that fights it, not your heart.”
“When someone is truly in your heart, they’re never truly gone. They can come back to you even in unlikely times.”
“Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.”
“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”
The novel ended in a ‘peaceful’ way. It is really amazing how Albom talks about death in a lively and not melancholic way.
If you want to have a break with those fantasy and complicated yet imaginary novels, this is a MUST read.