#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 297, 11/8/2022, #SpecificForm: Kouta


Last month, I asked Reena to select a syllabic form for us to learn more about. Her choice was the Japanese form, kouta.


The Kouta 小唄 (little or short song) is a popular Japanese verse form of the Muromachi Period, 14th thru 16th century. The lyrical song was resurrected as a geisha song in the late 1800s and is still popular today.

The form has several variations, though always short in only 4 lines, a 5th line is sometimes added. 

The theme reflects ordinary life and often uses colloquialisms and onomatopoeia. The most popular are love songs. 

The elements of Kouta are:

  1. a poem in 4 lines. (an occasional 5th line may appear)
  2. a standalone poem, but its often is accompanied by other Koutas with the same theme.
  3. syllabic, variable odd numbered syllable lengths, the most common patterns are written in lines of alternating 7-5-7-5 syllables or 7-7-7-5 syllables. 
  4. secular, personal, themes of ordinary life.
  5. often include onomatopoeia (defined above).


Here are some sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables:

Not sure how to write syllabic poetry?

READ THIS FIRST: How to craft Syllabic Poetry

Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet






Word Craft: Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry


  • Write your syllabic poem. Try not to use “ing” ending words to satisfy the word count.
  • Post it on your blog. Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the URL: https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink). You might have to delete your previous entry.
  • Please click the small checkbox on Mr. Linky about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name, and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.


Follow the schedule listed below:

💜 November Specific Form: Reena

 💚 November Photo Prompt: David

 💛 November Theme Prompt: Franci (Eugi)

Now, have fun and write some kouta poetry!

31 thoughts on “#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 297, 11/8/2022, #SpecificForm: Kouta”

  1. Thank you, Colleen. Another wonderful challenge. Having lived in Japan for 5 years, I suspect this poetic form is best written in Kanji, because calligraphy conveys the essence. I’ll give it a try. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reena picked a great form. You know, I love the Japanese forms the best. There is something about them… they always speak to me. You’re probably right about Kanji… I can’t wait to see what you create. 💜


  2. Oh, I think my brain must be scrambled Colleen… I commend all who take up the challenges… I am but a simple girl Lol… whose end sentences happen to rhyme sometimes.. LOL..
    Sending LOVE and hugs and hope today goes well.. though I feel lots of sneaky things are about to be revealed one way or another shortly. Much love and LOVE your logo peeping through the door by the way ❤


  3. Wonderful form by Reena. I’m craving a series of kokuta. It even sounds epic.


  4. Is there a standard syllable count for the 5th line if it is included? Is it 5 or 7, or poet’s choice of the two? Or, if a 7/5/7/5 is the last then another 7 to alternate?

    Liked by 1 person

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