Whittled Words – Dodoitsu Poem



Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:




The dodoitsu is a Japanese poetic form developed towards the end of the Edo Period, which came to an end in 1868. As with most Japanese forms, the dodoitsu does not have meter or rhyme constraints, focusing on syllables instead.

This 4-line poem has seven syllables in the first three lines and five syllables in the fourth, and final, line. The dodoitsu often focuses on love or work with a comical twist. While some of the examples below do not have titles, I haven’t found any word on whether dodoitsu traditionally have titles or not.



Examples of Dodoitsu Poems:



by Pat Anthony


Spring storms split seed laden trees
No young seedlings will take root
Leaves curl and sap leaches out
Broken heart-wood.



by Nurit Israeli

dreamed up in the dark of nights
love stories that could have been −
chapters filled with forevers
erased by daylight.



By Amy

pancakes say good morning, dear
coffee says rise and shine with
a spot of cream, but daisies
whisper i love you



By Yassy


poetry torments my heart

poetry conceals my pain

i put my pain on paper

ink soaks up my tears



By Brad Osborne

Like twinkling stars in night sky

So filled with great love and hope

My reflection in reply

Looking in your eyes



I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Dodoitsu poem. Thanks for reading!




9 Responses to “Whittled Words – Dodoitsu Poem”
  1. Great collection, interesting reads 👍

  2. Jim Borden says:

    nice job; it seems as if Japanese poems tend to be quite brief?

    • Brad Osborne says:

      The forms I have studied so far from Japan do seem to hold to being brief. It may be a cultural thing I am unaware of. Thanks for reading, Jim! I hope you are finding good stuff to eat!

      • Jim Borden says:

        maybe it’s part of Japan’s focus on efficiency. we have found a few delicious local foods as well as some foods that remind us of home!

  3. Jake Cosmos Aller says:

    two doduistu poems for you

    Seeing Mother’s Ghost

    While walking in a graveyard
    Smelling the nice red roses
    Seeing my mother’s sad ghost
    A nice view, she says

    Love Dodoistu

    Love came to me in a dream
    Eight years, she haunted my dreams
    One day, she walked off a bus
    And became my wife

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  1. […] A Dodoitsu poem. […]

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