And, we continue with our A-Z Challenge/National Poetry Month homage! Today it’s the Jueju, a Chinese form that consists of

  • a matched pair of couplets
  • each line has either five syllables or seven syllables (the first kind is called a wujue while the second kind is called a qijue because wu and qi translate to “five” and “seven”)
  • consists of no more than either 20 or 28 characters
  • tend to make extensive use of symbolic language to communicate a great deal of information with a small amount of textIt’s difficult to translate the form into another language (besides Chinese), because it involves alternating tones in each line, which can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the tonal nature of the spoken Chinese language. Consequently, I’m bound to be doing this wrong…but as I couldn’t find another “J” form…this is what I’m going with.

From my research, in English, it seems the rhythm pattern would be sort of a
dah da dah da dah da dah
dah da dah da dah da dah

meaning each line would be:
stessed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed

It creates a musical pattern that actually fits pretty naturally with the English language pretty well, though I found it difficult to begin with a stressed syllable, since it isn’t my normal pattern.


Open like a morning bloom
unfolds from its soft cocoon,
waiting for the bee to come
(pollen inside sweetly hums).

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