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Dawn song

Dawn song / sweet trills / thin flute roused
Splayed light / warm vibe / worn slats doused
Dream haunts / harsh cough / plumb tears smart
Heart touched / mixed thoughts / frail past frouse

Jueju is a curtailed verse of Chinese origin that grew popular among Chinese poets during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Unlike Japanese poetry, for example, haiku, Chinese poetry includes stanzas, metre, and rhyme schemes. It places a focus on friendship rather than love or being a lover. Friendships, to the village, the community, the country, or your drinking friends are dominant themes. It is all about the poet, the meaning for the poet, and not what is happening around him.

The English form was first taught by Dr Jonathan Stalling at UC Berkeley in 1997. Jueju poems are always quatrains (mimicking the Rubaiyat, per Dr Stalling), with a rhyme scheme of aaba (NOT a pair of rhyming couplets), and either 5 or 7 monosyllables per line. 

The new parallelism: not only must the tonal qualities of the words march horizontally, but it must also match vertically; similarity in the first two lines, with contrast in line three. Line 4 breaks this pattern without parallels or anti-parallels to the preceding lines.

Each line is divided into phrases of 2, (2), & 3 syllables—natural caesurae. The words are ‘imagistic’. The word units should pair off, more than they do between the groups. 

The design:
• Line 1 Qi (beginning) sets the scene (usually with a reference to nature)
• Line 2 Cheng (development) expands the image and mood of this external scene
• Line 3 Zhuan (returning) contrasts with start—it has an emotional resonance
• Line 4 Jie (finishing) ponders the meaning and draws the parts together

It creates a mood rather than tell a story, imparting wisdom about loss, grief, love, and beauty. A successful poem balances the sounds, meaning, and overall arrangement of words in complex ways. Remember Classical Chinese Poetry resembles word games more than English poetry does, so learning the rules is best thought of as gameplay. Punctuation is superfluous. 

frouse: A non-gender-specific single word term for a significant other; just as "spouse" is the non-gender-specific term for husband or wife. 

roused: (v.) this is a homonym: 1. caused to wake up; 2. To make angry.

Copyright © Suzette Richards