Mondo: Poetic Form

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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
.

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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.

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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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