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Springtime in Japan: the season when it’s all the rage for folks to enter corporate poetry contests.  Anonymous versifyers (using pen names) expound on life by adopting the “casual Friday” style of senryu (17 syllables in total). The poets send their musings in to contests held all across Japan—and crowds gather, Lucy Craft tells us on NPR, to “sit rapt as a reader delivers one poem after another out of hundreds submitted. . . . Every once in a while, a buzz of admiring murmurs and for a particularly finely executed turn of phrase, a quick round of applause.”

The pen names allow the writers to say how they really feel about matters sacred and mundane. Consider this:

Oh, that day he proposed. Wish we could go back to then. Would have said, no. 

For an amusing glimpse of ordinary life as seen through the poetic eyes of ordinary people, go to NPR.


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