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Poetry Princess Project — March 2016

Aaaaand our challenge this month was….Sedoka!

Sedoka is a Japanese form that consists of 6 lines of 5-7-7-5-7-7 syllables respectively. Each 5-7-7 unit is called a katauta. Traditionally, the second katauta says the same thing as the first katauta, although in a different way.

I wrote a whole series of sort of domestic ones, about cooking and minivans and dishwashers but in the end I decided to share this one, a poem in two voices.

It’s sort of my flipped version of that old Gary Larson Farside cartoon about what we say and what the dog hears:

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Woman and Dog Sedoka
By Liz Garton Scanlon

The dog follows me
every time I switch places.
It’s how he shows he loves me.
Why can’t she sit still?
I should keep an eye on her
but oh, to nap in the sun!

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All my poetry pals have posted sedoka today too — go see!
Laura’s post
Tricia’s post
Sara’s post
Kelly’s post
Tanita’s post
Andi’s post

Enjoy!!

Posted on 03/04/2016 12:04 pm
 

22 Comments

  1. I love this, and I so remember that cartoon. I’d love to live in a dog’s head for a day so that I could better understand them.

    I think you’ve done a fine job capturing two voices and perspectives.

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    • Gary Larson must have been a dog in a former life, I think, because he was very good at getting it πŸ™‚

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  2. My old dog does this, and I always want to tell her: PLEASE don’t go up the stairs with me, I’ll only be up there a second and you—never mind. There she comes.

    I love how you switch voices so seamlessly. And to end with a nap in the sun—couldn’t we ALL use that?

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    • Oh, I know. You just want them to hang tight every once in awhile but they can’t — the adoration is too complete…..

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  3. Such a sweet dog! And so devoted. It’s a good thing you can read doggy poetry, and translate for us!

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  4. Aw, I love how you did this. Perfect as basically a poem for two voices, two distinct reference points looking at the same situation. Love your watchful dog!

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    • Thanks, Laura — I found the form kind of tricky and not intuitive — I don’t know why. But when in doubt, I can always fall back on my dog.

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  5. Much more clearly that most of us, you achieved the parallel perspectives in this poem. And it seems to me that your dog is looking so longingly and lovingly at you because you are the great unchanged in his life – everyone else comes and goes, but you’re always there with the food. Pup knows a good deal when he finds one!

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    • Oh, that is the dearest thing to say — the great unchanged. And even if it IS all about being a food delivery system, I relish the role πŸ™‚

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  6. We may never know what a dog is thinking, but you sure seem to understand yours. I love the two voices!

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  7. Had to visit! I can’t believe we have done the same thing today! Mine isn’t a Sedoka, but it is written in two voices – my yellow labs and mine! And guess what her name is. Ginger! Sooooo, strange! Your dog has the same expression as ours. She just has to watch every move!
    Loved this. Don’t you just love talking for animals?

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  8. Kelly Ramsdell

    Your poem is so funny – and rings true. Also, it’s almost a mondo (where each stanza is written by a different person) since you completely flipped the speaker. Love it!

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  9. Very nice. I am reminded of a sweet dog a long time ago who dragged her bedding into the living area, took a while. We figured she was ready for bed, & disgusted the we were not. We went to bed shortly after, & here she came! You’ve shown the behavior well.

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    • Oh, mercy. EXACTLY. It would be absolutely heartbreaking if it wasn’t so funny — and sweet. πŸ™‚

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  10. I’m afraid we’ve been without dogs for too long. I crave that adoration. I get NO love from our cat. My role is strictly Staff and I am WAY subordinate to my husband. Sigh.

    Great poem! Thanks for making me wistful!

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    • Ha!! We had two cats for nearly 20 years so I get it, completely. They are different experience entirely…. Maybe it’s time for another dog, Mary Lee!!

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  11. You nailed the two voices here, Liz. And oh, your sweet dog’s soulful eyes! Perhaps you can take a little nap in the sun together. πŸ™‚

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