Today’s post is a little late (am I finally getting to the slipping and playing catch-up point of the challenge this time around?), but I jumped around poetic forms, traveling across time and the world, before settling on the kimo. It is a variant of the haiku and comes from Israel, and helps freeze moments, literally! The book I feature is an to ode to sonnets, to learning and teaching, to childhood, and to parent-child and student-teacher relationships.
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The Kimo Poetic Form
I am revisiting the Kimo once again on my blog.
So what is the Kimo poetic form?
A Kimo is a haiku variation from Israel. Variations in the languages themselves most likely lead to the additional syllables in this form; so a total of 23 to the haiku’s 17. This form’s rule of ‘no movement’ in the poem makes it a beautiful way to reflect.
The Kimo’s Characteristics
So the kimo’s elements are that, at its most basic, it is:
- a tristich: 3 line stanza (can have more than one stanza, if the poet desires)
- syllabic: 10-7-6 syllables
- dealing with a single moment, a static image, a snapshot in time; so it is more like a photograph than a video, more frozen than moving. This makes the kimo a wonderful form for reflection.
This is how it looks
- L1 – ten syllable line – xxxxxxxxxa
- L2 – seven syllable line – xxxxxxb
- L3 – six syllable line – xxxxxc
Start of Hide-n-Seek
One little girl with her eyes tightly closed
Two others in secret nooks
Stay as quiet as closed books
~Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
Strands of sunshine through cracked window panes light
dust motes frozen in time, si-
lence their quiet accomplice.
Faded grocery list on the fridge door,
and a half-finished jigsaw
on the kitchen table.
Eerie empty rooms that await noises,
washers of sink-dishes, and
Pine-scented candle waiting to be lit,
aside it, a scribbled note –
“Everything will be fine.”
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
Tried to picture a home waiting for its people who left elsewhere in a hurry seeking refuge.
Title: The Kids
Author: Hannah Lowe
Publishers: Bloodaxe Books (December 7, 2021)
Source: e-review copy from Edelweiss
Hannah Lowe taught for a decade in an inner-city London sixth form. At the heart of this book of compassionate and energetic sonnets are fictionalised portraits of ‘The Kids’, the students she nurtured. But the poems go further, meeting her own child self as she comes of age in the riotous 80s and 90s, later bearing witness to her small son learning to negotiate contemporary London.
I am glad I found this book as a result of this alphabetical reading journey I challenged myself to do, since otherwise I would never even have heard of it. Like I mentioned at the start of this post, Hannah Lowe’s The Kids feels like an ode to poetry and to teaching, as well as to so much more.
Lowe’s contemporary take on the sonnets breathes fresh life into the traditional that makes for fascinating reading. She moves from talking about her life as an inner-city teacher and about her students to her own personal life (from her childhood to her current role as a mom to her own child, Rory). The sonnets thus vary from showing snippets of teaching moments (the good, bad, and ugly), glimpses into her students, her relationship with her parents and others in her life, as well as her role as a parent herself.
Lowe’s words flow across the pages with warmth, joy, grace and beauty, lending honesty, humor, and power to the sonnets. And she effortlessly covers a variety of topics, including, of course teaching and learning, but also love, loss, and the beauty and pain in relationships, as well as the issues of class, race, gender, color, and more.
A stunning and accessible collection of poems that will delight and move you.
Get it here
This week’s words come from The Kids (reviewed above).
- mandem (British slang): a group of male friends
- Biro (noun): a brand name for a type of ballpoint pen
- blether (noun): long-winded talk with no real substance (also verb – the act of long-winded talking)
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear readers, have you read the featured book? I would love to hear your thoughts (if you have read them) as well as recommendations for similar books. What do you think about the kimo poetic form? Will you attempt one? Hope you try this one or any other I have mentioned so far. You can check them out in the links below: