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In composing Shichigon-zekku, the character of the phrases (zekku) is important. The rule is as follows:
- First phrase (kiku - 起句): Depiction of the scene
- Second phrase (shoku - 承句): Add further illustration and detail to the kiku
- Third phrase (tenku - 転句): By changing the scene of action, reveal the true essence of the poem
- Fourth phrase (kekku - 結句): In assimilating the tenku draw together and complete the poem
The Japanese terms mean literally: bringing into being; understanding; changing and drawing together.
The examples below illustrate poems in Shichigon-zekku form:
Spring of the South
Thousands miles of birds' singing, light green along the Yangtze river
Ponds and hills circling the village with flags in the soothing wind
Amid the four hundreds and eighty temples of the South dynasty
How many terraces are in the misty cold rains?
Author: Du Mu (杜牧), (803～852).
This great peak above the clouds, where legendary wizards came to work their magic
In the deep pools of whose caverns holy dragons have inhabited from old
When snow overwhelms, and smoke rises up like the hilt of a sword
It is as if a great white fan sits inverted, in the heavens above the eastern sea
Author: Ishikawa Jozan (石川丈山), (1583～1672).