Tuesday, April 5, 2016

DAY 5 ~ How to Write a “Tanka Poem,” aka “The Grandmother of Haiku” for “30 Poems in 30 Days” #NationalPoetryMonth (and a nifty little syllable counting tool)

Day 5 deserves a poem that is 5 lines long – so many poetry forms are so I had to decide:

Today’s poem is a 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 we will do later on and 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 is generally written in two parts or ideas. The first three lines is one part, and the last two lines are the second part; kind of the end result of the first three lines. (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

Be sure to COUNT OUT your syllables so you get it right. This is a poetry form, not free verse so we follow the instructions. J

AND if you struggle with the number of syllables – here is a little tool you can use:
http://www.syllablecount.com/ ~ the trick here is finding the correct button to “click” in order to get your results. LOL. About half-way down the page is an empty rectangular box. Enter only one word at a time (yeah, in that rather large box – silly, isn’t it)? AND THEN CLICK on the small rectangular link ABOVE the box you just put your word into (and it’s a little to the right and it SAYS: “Count Syllables”) and it will tell you how many syllables you have. BUT if you get mixed up and click on the distracting, larger BLUE ARROW BOX – you will have clicked on an AD – DO NOT CLICK on the BLUE ARROW BOX. Just sayin’

Here is one of my favorite examples, written by a somewhat unknown, but amazing award-winning poet, Sally Clark. And using a little different take on things, Sally’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

And here are a few of my past examples:

“Timing of Posts is EVERYTHING”

Feel invisible
Even when among my friends
I say clever things
But no one responds to it
Darn that Facebook anyway.
© 2011 Stephanie Abney

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

(A Tanka poem doesn’t really need a title; up to you) 

I look around me
Surrounded by family
I know I am blessed
Could anything be better
Than having a grandchild's love?
© 2014 Stephanie Abney

 YOUR TURN!! Enjoy!

PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright for to them as soon as they post them. Thanks so much!

Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or you FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work. 


Heidi Murphy said...

Okay. Mine is here at http://murph4slaw.blogspot.com/2016/04/exhausted-tanka-poem.html and on the facebook site. I'm doing two.

Vicki said...

When my life began
it was on a sunny day
when I first met Him
and fell in love eternal
he gave me pure happiness.

peggy barker said...

As the prophet speaks
I feel the Holy Spirit
whisper deep within
my heart is full my tears fall
I want to always obey.

Erica said...

yesterday is gone
you never find tomorrow
today will simply
be the constant we live by