Saturday, May 21, 2005

Short Poetic Forms - The Cherita

Dear LivePoets,

I do love haiku - when well done it can take an image or a thought and flash it on the inner eye in one brief, bright second, like incandescent lightening, sudden illuminating the inky night sky both with visual image and significance. The haiku is not the lightening, but rather what you see during that split second of light.

Of course haiku is only one short poetic form. Recently Fran reintroduced me to the Cherita. Like the pantoum, Cherita is a Malaysian poetic form. Cherita is the Malay word for story or tale. A Cherita consists of a stanza with a single line, followed by a two-line stanza, and then finishing with a three-line stanza. It can either be written solo or with up to three partners.

I’ve written several, but have never really gotten hold of the feeling of the form, which, ideally delivers punch of meaning, especially in the last stanza. Fran has written some sterling Cherita. Fran, can I talk you into sharing some of your Cherita? (Particularly the one about the rabbit and the one about the butterfly.) They are perfect examples of the form.

Cherita for Childhood

I liked to play by myself

I knew which trees talked,
and which just drank the wind.

The bark scratched my bare legs
as I nestled in their arms
Dryad in crinolines

©Edwina Peterson Cross


At 5:53 AM, Blogger maya said...

You certainly haven't forgotten which trees talk and which ones drink the wind. This Cherita has to be one of the most precious and meaningful poems written by you that I've ever had the pleasure to read.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh Maya, I'm so glad you liked this! I didn't feel like it really worked, lacking a significant punch at the end. It is an authentic image, however, and a heartfelt memory.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger faucon of Sakin'el said...

do the lines have length or and restictions ...

can a poem be both a Cherita and a Fitz??

as if I don't have enough to do


At 6:51 PM, Blogger Fran said...

My boots are heavy

I make deep marks in the snow
My sleigh is hard to pull

A speeding jack rabbit runs ahead
showing me how easy it is to run
with built in snow shoes

(Is this the one you wanted? Winnie. There are no word limits to cheritas Faucon...that would just be too artificial. The cherita as I see it has its strength in its simplicity, childlike, perhaps?)


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