Life in these strange times: Dodoitsu called Quarantinitsu

It’s time for another creative writing activity! This time, I’m sharing a type of poem that you could try at home. There is no “don’t try this at home” when it comes to poetry writing. The form is called dodoitsu. It is a Japanese poetic form that was developed at the end of the Edo period, that spanned the years between 1603 to 1868. 


Dodoitsu poems have a very specific format. They are usually about work or love and they tend to be humorous. But you don’t have to write about work or love if you feel motivated to write about something else, such as fashionable masks or the loveliness of your walls after staring at them for hours on end. Well, I guess that you could fall in love with someone’s fashionable mask, but please fall in love at a distance. Um. Six feet would be good. 


So… here is the format for dodoitsu poems. Each poem is comprised of four lines. The first three lines have seven syllables each. The last line has five syllables. It is kind of a variation on haiku, with a pattern of five-seven-five. With dodoitsu, it is seven-seven-seven-five. So it’s a short poem. Also, it’s an unrhymed poem.


After reading about dodoitsu poems, I decided just to go for it. Here are a bunch of poems that I wrote. I would encourage you to try it, too. This could be great fun for both adults and kids.


The series of poems don’t have a title. I suppose that Quarantinitsu would do???


I gasp, I squeak, and I sneeze
Loudly enough to make me yelp,
And wear hand sanitizer
In large quantities.


My journalistic career
Has come to a grinding halt
Amidst toilet paper wars
Raging everywhere
Birds are chattering loudly
But I can’t understand them
Without an interpreter
Phone lines are busy


There’s no traffic on the roads
but nowhere for me to walk
I look for another book
To take me away.
My hair is growing longer
Beauty parlors are all closed.
I see unpruned shrubbery

Growing from my head.




Coming tomorrow: I don’t have a clue. Check back tomorrow and every day!!!








6 thoughts on “Life in these strange times: Dodoitsu called Quarantinitsu”

  1. I am not familiar with Dodoitsu. How fun! These times are definitely teaching us new things and stretching our creativity.

  2. Great poem Alice, worked for me. Haven't ventured into poetry waiting but I like the ideas of a formula to follow. Maybe I'll give it a try. Linda x

  3. adding this dodoitsu to yet another thing I need to do based on your suggestion!! the still life for A and now this 🙂 love your dodoitsu

  4. I've not come across dodoitsu poems before so I learnt something new today, thank you! I will have to give them a try. I loved your poems. Simple yet really effective.

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