Poetry form: Jintishi

I was looking for a poetry form to write/write about, and came across the Jintishi.

The Chinese poetic term “Jintishi” means “modern form poetry”.   There was something I read about “tones”: a level tone and three deflected tones (?) that I didn’t understand.

I noted from an example and reading further that the lines of a Jintishi contain roughly eight to ten syllables each, and  the rhyme scheme is  a,a,b,b (continuing c,c,d,d/e,e,f,f etc. depending on how long the poet wishes to write the poem.   The example I read also had four lines per stanza.  My attempt is below.


I want to write a Jintishi

But how, exactly, I don’t see

So starting on this page I’ll write

Don’t know if it will turn out right !


By  the directions I’m confused

Though they’re similar to things I’ve used

I do not get some of the terms;

They kind of make me want to squirm.


What is all of this about “tones”?

Knowledge of that I do not own.

What does this mean; and, what is that?

Could someone tell me where I’m at?


The Jintishi form I have now tried

Can’t say I’m feeling any pride

For this “thing” that I have turned out

I don’t think it has Jintishi “clout”.


I want to write, but I don’t know

If Jintishi is the way to go;

So this one will be a bit short

Think I’ll sail to other poetic ports !

© Stacey Uffelman 9-21-15


Given the fact that I didn’t understand what was meant by the different “tones” mentioned in the directions that I read, my writing above probably has something “wrong” with it as opposed to being a proper/correct poem as far as a Jintishi goes.  As I have often said when I wasn’t quite sure about how I’d done on a new poetry form, though: “It’s still a poem.”