I for Imayo #NaPoWriMo2021


The Imayo is another very interesting Japanese form. It is a 4-line poem with 12 syllables in each line. There is a pause between the 7th syllable in each line (also known as a caesura in poetic terms). So every line in this poem is divided into a 7-5 syllable splits. These 5/7 syllable splits might remind you of similar patterns found in other Japanese forms like haiku, senryu and tanka.

The Imayos were originally written to be sung. But over time they have become more of a poetic form only. Also, unlike most of the other Japanese forms there are no constraints when it comes to the theme of the poem.

In most of the examples of Imayo Poems, I found that if you separate all the 7 syllable parts and all the 5 syllable parts, you get two different poems. Here’s my example :-

I often struggle with words, they never find me
Like poems and poets do, metaphors divine
I crave for flawless syntax, prose of perfection
Unmatched vocabulary, To write what I feel

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