Sunday, April 25, 2021

Day 25 - Tanka Poem for “30 poems in 30 days” for #NationalPoetryMonth

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)

Here are a couple of examples:



Little did I know
More than fifty years ago
Playing in the snow
Splat! A snowball hit my head
And found its way to my heart.
                    © 2021 Stephanie Abney


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



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 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.


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 


Unknown said...

Day 25-Tanka Poem

I’m ready for the rain
It is needed in our life
As well as on earth
For without it we can’t grow
And become our better self

Heidi L. Murphy said...

Here are my Sunday poems:

Heather W said...

Thanks for a greatt read