Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Other Requirement
Description: Quintet in syllables 5-7-5-7-7. The first two lines treat one subject, the second two treat another, and the last line is a refrain or paraphrase. The first two lines are a dependent clause, while the last three are independent.
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 5
Pasted from http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/003/332.shtml
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.
Researching, I found: that this is a general and ancient classification of Japanese poetry, where Wa means Japanese and Ka means poem. It differentiated poetry writing in their own language from that written in Chinese, which was the more formal method.
All of the following are then examples of Waka. But I shall persist
and write one specifically to the form indicated by Mr. Weatherford.
Name Form Note
Katauta 5-7-7 One half of an exchange of two poemThas; the shortest type of waka
Repetition of 5 and 7 on phrases, with a last phrase containing 7 on.
Mainly composed to commemorate public events, and often followed by ahanka or envoi.
Numerous chōka appear prominently in the Man’yōshū, but only 5 in the Kokinshū.
Tanka 5-7-5-7-7 The most widely-composed type of waka throughout history
Sedōka 5-7-7-5-7-7 Composed of two sets of 5-7-7 (similar to two katauta).
Frequently in the form of mondōka (問答歌 “dialogue poem”?)
or an exchange between lovers
Bussokusekika 5-7-5-7-7-7 A tanka with an extra phrase of 7 on added to the end
Pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waka_(poetry)