Mondo: Poetic Form

Some folks may remember me covering katauta (and sedoka) poems last December. Today’s poetic form mondo is a close relative of those forms.

Mondo Poems

Mondo poems are often very brief collaborative affairs that present a question and answer in the style of trying to glean meaning from nature. Mondos can be as short as a one-liner or as long as two 5-7-7 syllable stanzas (the first stanza presenting the question; the second the answer). Examples below.


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Here’s my attempt at a one-line Mondo:

Untitled, by Robert Lee Brewer

why do winter stars shine brighter? i can’t hear them laugh.

And here’s a two-stanza Mondo:

Untitled, by Robert Lee Brewer

why do winter stars
shine brighter than summer stars
and why do i notice them?

i can’t hear them laugh,
but i remember the way
they once entered the darkness


If mondo seems a little too much like sedoka, I totally understand. I think the main difference is a focus on nature and trying to attain a zen-like meaning from natural source material.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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13 thoughts on “Mondo: Poetic Form

  1. pmwanken

    Spring flowers blanket
    roadside ditches and grassy
    fields – why can’t they last longer?

    Their fragrance lingers
    long after the flowers fade.
    Memories of blooms remain.

    © Paula M. Wanken and Walter J. Wojtanik

  2. pmwanken

    Fog envelops me;
    misty dampness chills my bones.
    When will there be a reprieve?

    The promise of Spring
    offers the hope of rebirth,
    returning warmth to the earth!

    © Paula M. Wanken and Walter J. Wojtanik

  3. pmwanken

    Warm water flowing
    past tiny toes in spring’s stream,
    where will the ripples find rest?

    Ripples will reach out
    touching each shore in all ways,
    coming to rest on sun days.

    © Paula M. Wanken and Walter J. Wojtanik

  4. pmwanken

    The tiniest buds
    finally show signs of life.
    Why must winter take so long?

    Her nurturing way
    though cold, protected each bloom,
    to give way to their beauty.

    © Paula M. Wanken and Walter J. Wojtanik

  5. pmwanken

    I feel its presence.
    I hear rustling it creates.
    Yet, why can I not see wind?

    And still, sight unseen,
    it surrounds and envelops.
    Much like love it caresses.

    (C) Paula M. Wanken and Walter J. Wojtanik

  6. mayboy

    where space extend its place
    I wonder every time I see his face
    I d like to fly there with a rainbow
    but when will take off the runway?

    As soon as our mind is the last
    out of shadows of the past,
    connected to the wires of progress,
    we will be able to enjoy the rest.


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