form of Japanese poetry
, much older but not as well known as the haiku
. A popular style of court poetry from the Kofun era
onwards (c. 6th century). Literally means "long poem" in Japanese.
Choka can be of almost any length, as the structure is of a simple 5-7 pattern, with an extra line of 7 syllables at the end. It was (and still is) quite common for choka to be of 100 lines and over. Due to their potential length, they were often had strong links to classical epics.
The following is a choka from the Manyoshu (Book 5)
kuganemo tama mo
nani sen ni
koni shikame yamo
nor gold, precious stones
any value at all
treasure of children