Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 7 ~ Let’s Write a “Tanka Poem” for “30 Poems in 30 Days” #NationalPoetryMonth

Tanka poems are fun and have very specific rules for the number of syllables per line in the five-line poem; the first and third lines have five syllables and the second, fourth and fifth lines all have seven so it seemed like a good one to introduce on Day 7 ~


This form of Japanese poetry 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.

Tankas are generally written in two parts or ideas. The first three lines comprise part ONE and the last two lines make up part TWO, which kind of an “answer” or “reaction” to 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. J

(A Tanka poem doesn’t really need a title; up to you)
And here are a few of my past examples:

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

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

(This next one is CLEARLY NOT a love poem. Ha Ha)

"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


Well, I have some assignments due so I haven’t written a new one this year but you get the idea and I’m looking forward to your creations! 

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 your 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.


Vicki said...

Day 7- Tanka Poem

As rain washed flowers
Remind us anew of love
From our dear Father
Who gave us a way to live
Baptism is the gateway

Betsy said...

Our First Meeting

His twinkling blue eyes
Flashing mischievously at me
Is that love I see
Or are all the girls met with
That same beckoning bright glance.

Peggy Barker said...

I get so confused
when I look in the mirror
like I jump through time
knowing I am still just me
no matter what year it is.