a b a b
a b x b
a a b b
a b b a
And various combinations:
a b c b d e c e
a a b a b b c b
a b c d a b c d
© Kenia Cris
While I was searching for a poetical form which consists of only 4 lines, I came across a genre of Chinese poetry called Midnight Songs. A collection of these poems under the title "Lady Midnight" appeared in the 4th Century AD, and were popularized by famous poets, such as Li Po. The poems are arranged into four sections for the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Thematically, they represent four views of the seasons. They are written in four lines (paired couplets), each of which consists of 5 Chinese characters, known as yuefu.
© Ellen Wilson
This information led me on to discover a similar form called Jueju. Jue Ju is one of the oldest of the Chinese patterns and in the 3rd century AD the Jue Ju was very popular. It often carried "suggestively erotic themes". It does not tell a story but attempts to create a mood. This example is given on Poetry Magnum Opus:
Autumn Moon by Cheng Hao
(translated by Xiao-zhen, Nov 2009)
Over green hills a limpid brook flows
Sky mirrored in the water of autumn hue
Away from the distant earthly world
Maple leaves and velvet clouds leisurely float
© Teresa Perin
If one is to attempt an English version of this poetic style, the following guidelines are offered:
Line length: 5 words per line
Lines per stanza: 4
Theme: Often suggestive of erotic love
Rhyme scheme: couplets or unrhymed
© Hannah Gosselin
Our challenge for today is to write either a four-lined poem, following the Chinese forms described above, or to write a longer poem, in rhyming quatrains, using any of the variations mentioned.
I have also included the photographic talents of several of our Real Toads Members and Followers. Remember to acknowledge the name of the photographer on your blog, if you decide to use an image as inspiration for your poem.
The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the form challenge. Please provide a link on your blog back to Real Toads. We stipulate that only poems written for this challenge may be added to the Mr Linky. Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links, but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.