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


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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