Friday, April 08, 2022

Poetry Friday: NPM 2022 - Day 8

Today's poem is written to a piece of V-mail my Great Uncle Ray (the youngest of 8 kids) sent to my grandmother (the second oldest). In it he says:

I just got a letter from Babe telling me about the celebration that the gang is planning for Ma & Pa's "Golden Wedding Anniversary" ... to be held on the 29th of November. I might as well let you know right now, that I'm sore as hell at the whole bunch of you for not letting me know about it sooner. Consider yourself bawled out.

Even in a time of war, the kid brother was still giving his big sister a hard time. This doesn't surprise me about my uncle at all.

This poem is written as a pair of dodoitsu. I haven't really followed the form too well this time.  While I have followed the pattern (a 4-line poem with a syllable count of 7-7-7-5), I have not focused on "love or work with a comical twist." The post What is a Dodoitsu? contains more information about this Japanese form.

Victory Mail, more commonly known as V-mail, was used to expedite mail service for American armed forces overseas. Using microfilmed messages reduced the bulk and weight of letters. This meant there was more space on planes for other war supplies and that letters could reach troops faster than before. In the years it was in operation (June 1942-November 1945), more than 1 billion letters were processed. You can learn more about it at Mail Call: V-mail.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new inspiration I've found for a poem. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these poems on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 

April 1 - Senryu to a photo of my grandmother as a child
April 2 - Haiku to my mother's recipe
April 3 - Dodoitsu to a war memento
April 4 - Choka to my mother's engagement announcement
April 5 - Gogyohka to the receipt for my mother's engagement ring
April 6 - Senryu to a student's drawing of my dad
April 7 - Tanka to a photo of my grandmother and her mother by a car

Finally, I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Janice at Salt City Verse. Happy poetry Friday friends. 


  1. I know that my mother was thankful that the V-Mail happened. One of my uncles was on a ship & it was a long time before they heard anything from him. Hard times! I love that you have this & have written about it, Tricia.

  2. Wow! This is fascinating--I had no idea! I love the detailed example letter and your concise, fact-filled poem. Thank you for the explanation!

  3. What treasures these are. And how wonderful that your uncle kept his sense of humor through it all. I have an album of letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother during WWII, also censored, and one day I will read them all. I get sentimental... I have enjoyed your poems on Instagram and appreciate and hope to learn from the different forms you are working with. xo

  4. I love each of these. I just finished Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown. It's the stories of several Japanese Americans serving in WW II

  5. I love this! I'm also writing to primary sources and there are challenges. Every new and different "take" on this process fascinates and inspires me. Thank you!

  6. I never heard of V-mail from my uncles, Tricia, so I thank your for that piece of history. I am intrigued by the forms of poetry that you used so I will take another look later on.

  7. I had never heard about V-mail before! Thanks for sharing your poem and this image!

  8. They're all so fascinating, but this one takes the cake! What a treasure trove you have!

  9. I had no idea about this, Tricia, and are you saying there's somewhere we can go and read all these somewhere? THAT would be cool. Your catalog of poems so far is very useful. I guess I ought to go and set that up. What about a sore-as-hell dodoitsu? : )