The Gogyohka is a modern Japanese form developed by Enta Kusakabe in 1957. Based on the Tanka and Kodai kayo, Gogyohka literally translates into 5-line poem. 

The rules of the Gogyohka are seemingly very simple. The stanza is 5 lines, and each line is its own phrase. What is considered a phrase, however, is what makes it unique. There is no rhyme scheme, syllable restriction, or tie to any particular theme. In the Gogyohka, each phrase is not governed by punctuation but by breath. And natural breath breaks within a sentence varies from language to language and speaker to speaker, which lends to Enta’s intent which was the make a poetry form free from many of the constraints of other common forms, such as tone and structural rules. While there is no stanza restriction, the typical Gogyohka usually sticks to the one.

For more extensive exploration of the form, check out the following…




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