Write a Naga Uta

A Naga Uta or Nagauta is a Japanese form of poetry which literally means “long song,” is an easy form to learn. You count syllables much like a Haiku, but aren’t limited to how long your Naga Uta is. So let your imagination take you wherever you’d like to go and have fun learning this interesting poetry form.

Begin your Naga Uta by counting out five syllables for your first line and seven syllables for your second line, and repeat that pattern throughout the length of your poem. It should look like this: 5/7/5/7/5/7.

Think of ways to use words that make you feel what they say. Naga Uta is also a form of music where drumbeats play an important role. As you write your poem listen to the beats of the syllables that you use to write it.

Finish your Naga Uta with two lines of seven syllables each. You poem should look like this: 5/7/5/7/5/7/5/7/7 or however you long wish to make it as long as the two lines have the same syllable count.

Become proficient at writing Naga Uta poems by writing many of them with different lengths and subjects. Since there are few limits on this type of poetry, experiment with words and word play to express yourself.

Don’t confuse a Naga Uta with a Tanka. A Tanka has a limit of thirty-one syllables, while a Naga Uta can have as many as the author wishes to give it. Unlike Haiku, Naga Uta poems are not limited to the subject matters of nature and spirituality.

Remember Naga Uta are meant to be long poems, so feel free to push yourself and your creativity as far as you want to go.

 

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