Umbrella – Sijo/Shijo style


Thunder bursts, oh so dramatic, flashing its brilliant teeth

Rigid trees, now bend spinelessly, under the menacing breeze

The parched earth, sighing with relief, opens its mouth to drink.

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Goosebumps alert my wracked nerves, fear jabbing at my throat-

The downpour shows no sign of letting up- I’m stranded all alone

A black umbrella, an anxious smile; here comes my rescue- surprise!

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Who needs a knight in shining armour

When his umbrella would suffice?

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Hello dear readers,

What you just read is a Korean poetic style called Sijo!

A few days ago, one of my fellow poets here in wordpress, M.T Noah, asked me if I know the Sijo style of poetry. Of course, I hadn’t heard of it, but it definitely piqued my interest. Here’s what I learned about this form.

Sijo is a Korean poetic form, more ancient than the haiku. They are 3 lines in length with a syllable count of 14-16 per line and a total of 44-46 syllables in the entire poem.

According to my friend, M.T. Noah, the Sijo style has been associated mostly with female writers and is traditionally written in the Korean alphabet (Hangul)

They are meant to be sung, so they tend to be more lyrical.

The first line introduces a situation or problem, which is developed in the second line and the third line packs the punch with a twist.

Intriguing, you say? I thought so too! 

8 lines a day, yep yep, so I have written two Sijos (not sure if that’s the plural 🙂 ) and an extra 2 lines just to wrap it up with a bow. The first two verses are in the Sijo form. 

Hope you enjoyed reading!

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4 thoughts on “Umbrella – Sijo/Shijo style


    I could almost hear it sung and the drums that traditionally accompany sijo recitation popped in in my head right where they ought to! GOOD WORK! You are the bomb!

    New challenge: Gasa/Kasa style. Also Korean. 😀 What challenge do you have for me?

    To hear how the lyrical sijo may have sounded, I recommend some pa’nsori music. These are always stories. My favorite thing in the world. Pa’nsori is a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage Tradition. Here is their link: You can hear it and have it explained!

    Enjoy, my friend!


    1. Thank you so much M.T.!! Means a lot. I will surely try out the Gasa/Kasa style and will check out the links and music too.
      I would love to see you write in traditonal Korean style, the way you know it, translated to English !! That’s my challenge to you 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve only HEARD it from grandmothers and shamanesses. I will try though! I WILL TRY! I am a functional illiterate when it comes to Korean. I can only speak when I’m not trying to and can’t read or write to save my soul. BUT I WILL TRY!


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