Thursday, April 17, 2014

DAY SEVENTEEN!! "Tanka Poem" for 30 Poems in 30 Days" #NationalPoetryMonth

DAY SEVENTEEN: Tanka, “the Grandmother of Haiku”

Soon we’ll do a free verse poem and move away from all these “form” poems, but I also think the “form” poems are really good practice because you have to work hard to fit your thoughts into the pattern set forth.

Today is another form of Japanese poetry, “Tanka” which has been called, “The Grandmother of Haiku.” This is one of the oldest forms of poetry. It originated in Japan during the 7th century. Unlike the Haiku which tends to focus on nature, these poems allow for emotional expression and were often written by both men and women as private messages to their lovers.

A “Tanka” poem is an unrhymed Japanese poem consisting of five lines ~ although, it’s kind of like some crazy “run-on” sentence as only the first word of the first line is capitalized and the period goes at the end of the very last word of the last line, with no need for commas along the way. 

Tanka poems are generally written in two parts or ideas. The first three lines is one part, and the last two lines is the second part; kind of the result. (The first three lines tend to describe what happened, what was felt and/or feared, etc. while the last two lines tend to represent a resolution or lesson learned). 

This poem is distinguished by the number of lines and syllables instead of rhyme. Please take care to COUNT the syllables in the poem you create and only use 5 lines. Tanka poems consist of 31 syllables in the following pattern:

Line 1 = 5 syllables
Line 2 = 7 syllables 
Line 3 = 5 syllables
Line 4 = 7 syllables 
Line 5 = 7 syllables 

So, here's mine - 

When our eyes first met
it sent tingles down my spine
I hoped you felt it
then we went out together
now we are soul mates.

           © 2014 Stephanie Abney

Here are some BETTER EXAMPLES:

Sally Clark’s poem is about a historical event, rather than a love poem.

Liberty bell rang
in seventeen fifty-three
struck an e-flat note 
hairline crack begins to spread
starts split with Mother England.
           © 2008 Sally Clark

Here’s another example, a poem written by Gerard John Conforti, in his book, Now That the NightEnds ©1996: 
This cold winter night
the snow clings to the tree boughs
in the pale moonlight

the kisses of your soft lips
warm this aching heart of mine.

     ©1996 Gerard John Conforti

There is an inexpensive e-book of his Tanka poetry called “Shells in the Sand” 

YOUR TURN!! Enjoy!


Vicki said...

Ten years ago our
son got married to his love
and now they are four
Happiness ensues each day
they come to visit our home.

Tanya Parker Mills said...

You were too afraid
to initiate the kiss
so I surprised you
to show that love is equal
and forgiving of weakness.

Jewelianna said...

I knew you'd be mine
when I happened to walk by
the corner cafe
but alas it did not last
that's the way it goes with cake.

I lay my head down
in the tender soft embrace
of a down pillow
it must not be meant to be
for the baby just awoke

You can be assured, yes, I was tired and hungry when I wrote these. :)