by Ashley Lister
Have you been naughty?
Do you need a good spanking?
Which paddle should I select?
I have been naughty.
I deserve your punishment.
Please use the studded paddle.
We’re all familiar with the haiku: the poetic
form, imported from Japanese culture, and interpreted by western poets as a three-line
stanza with a syllable count of 5-7-5.
Less familiar, but similar in many ways to
the haiku, is the katuata. In its Japanese
form the poem was made up of 19 onji, which we’ve translated as syllables. Most
authorities give the Katuata a three-line form structure of 5-7-7.
One of the popular applications of this form
is the mondo: a poem traditionally written by two poets and presented in the
form of a question and answer. The first stanza is the question, the second is the response.
As a tool for helping with collaboration, this
is clearly an apposite way to begin a writing partnership. However,
as a fun way of getting two characters talking, or simply challenging the
artistic imagination, writing the brief exchange of a mondo at the start of a
writing session is an effective way to kick-start creativity.
Your plans for tonight?
House of Cards
or Breaking Bad?
Or Pretty Little Liars?
Let’s be more daring.
Forget this Netflix and chill
We’ll make our own blockbuster
As always, I look forward to seeing your
poems in the comments box below.