Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Poetry Stretch - Chueh-chu

Forgive me for being a bit late today. I normally write these posts on the weekend, but this one was filled with graduation activities. So, after a day of meetings, my 21st year at the university comes to a close and I finally have some time to call my own ... until summer school starts next week. Well, enough about me, let's get on with this week's stretch!

I am still reading and pondering the forms in Robin Skelton's The Shapes of Our Singing: A Comprehensive Guide to Verse Forms and Metres from Around the WorldHere is the poem Skelton wrote for this form and his explanation of the Chueh-chu.

Full moon:
     a white light
 carves shade:
     the warm night,
dream tamed,
     fears the dawn's
hard noise,
     the sun's bright

trees green
     not pearled gray,
walls grey
     not bleached white,
mind trapped
     as time's dream
feels time
     and takes flight.

The name Chueh-chu means, literally, "sonnet cut short." ... It consists of eight lines with the rhyme scheme A A B A C A D A or the rhyme scheme A B C B D B E B. A further variation is A A B A A A C A.    
This example is in the Wu-yen-shih metre, which consists of five monosyllable lines with a caesura after the second syllable. Each syllable is a complete word. 

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a poem in the form Chueh-chu. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. I swiped their first A rhyme. And I resisted the urge to do a whole train thing (choo-choo). Maybe next time!

    Take Heart

    Take heart,
    dear. Take flight
    in sun’s
    yellow light.
    Raise wings
    strong and bright—
    past dark
    lifting white.

    Be you,
    fair and true.
    Be brave,
    sail the blue.
    You’ll find
    the wide view.
    You’ll fly
    till you’re new.

    —Kate Coombs, 2015
    all rights reserved

    1. I am a little slow. Just now as I was again looking at the name of the poetry form, did I get your reference to choo-choo. :)

  2. And I swiped their colors and their wall, and Kate's "oo" end rhyme. (Kate, why resist a choo-choo?) Lovely poem.

    Crow Knows

    Gray day:
    murky pall
    casts shade
    upon all.
    Sun's glare,
    a white wall,
    beats through
    the dim sprawl.

    No rain
    falls anew,
    no rest
    from dull hue.
    Black bird
    with high view,
    seems to know
    what to do:

    Bobs head,
    looks around,
    fluffs tail,
    peers down
    from high roof,
    with no sound,
    mocks me
    on the ground.

    © 2015 Stephanie Parsley Ledyard

    1. Oh, this is really good! (And let's hear it for -oo words!)