Today’s word is xiaoshi. It’s a Chinese form of short poetry that has been called the Chinese haiku. It is usually written as a quatrain. A quatrain is a stanza of four lines, especially one having alternate rhymes. The xiaoshi is a style of poetry that dates back to the 1920s. It presents seemingly unrelated images with no explanation. There is very little indication of cause and effect. Hence, the xiaoshi is sort of like a group of four photographs that don’t seem to have much to do with each other. It is up to the reader to give meaning to the poem. These are my two attempts at this poetic form.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my two examples of xiaoshi, which, as far as I can tell is a way to paint with words. Another thing that I’ve found out about xiaoshi is that it is actually a combination of two words: xiao means little or small, and shi means poem.