X is for xiaoshi

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.

marsh water gleams to reflect the noon sky
aging wet-footed grasses tip sideways
groups of geese poised to flap their wings and fly.
off in the distance, a coyote bays
A bee travels on its anointed rounds
Abandoned toy sits amongst broken reeds
A man plays a catch game with his three hounds
Children hike the trail, scattering seeds.

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.

Two days left to these challenges!!! It’s exciting and hard to believe. Feel free to share something good that happened to you in April. Come and visit tomorrow,when a certain newly named bear will be my guest blogger!!!

2 thoughts on “X is for xiaoshi”

  1. I wrote about the xiaoshi too and I love your xiaoshi way way more than mine.. I kind of went off-track 🙂 Love your imagery and the photos

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