Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Day 11 2023 ~ How to write a “Tan-Renga” Poem for “30 poems in 30 days” for #NationalPoetryMonth

 Day 11 2023 ~ 

This is quite a fun poetry form – we’ve done it a few times before. But I like it so here ya’ go:

OK, so don’t freak out, but you’ll need to grab a partner because we are going to write a “Tan-Renga,” which is a Japanese poem of collaboration. It’s fun, really. Here’s the thing – you will need to find someone to write this (SHORT – 5 line) poem with. Even if you live alone, you can find someone. It can be done together, in person, or over the phone, or via text, or email, or whatever works for you. Your partner in writing this poem can be a spouse, a child, a neighbor, a friend; heck, it can be your mail carrier – just someone other than yourself needs to help write this poem.

This is basically a Tanka poem (which we do most years so it’s still probably to come) BUT with one catch ~ one person writes the first three lines (I’ll review the pattern for a Tanka poem below – it’s only 5 lines) and the second person finishes off the poem with the last two lines, almost as if in response to your first three lines.

The name, Tan-Renga (from Japanese) translates as "short linked poem" or "short connecting poem." 

Here is a Tanka in a nutshell. Rhyming doesn’t even enter in. The only concern is the number of syllables per line: 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 . . . but for this style – it matters who writes which lines, as follows:

Line 1 = 5 syllables     (1st person writes)

Line 2 = 7 syllables     (1st person writes)

Line 3 = 5 syllables     (1st person writes)

Line 4 = 7 syllables     (2nd person writes)

Line 5 = 7 syllables     (2nd person writes)


So, 6 years ago I had my husband, Jim, write this Tan-Renga with me ~ I wrote the first three lines and he responded with the last two lines and together we came up with this:

Our life together

Has had a few learning curves

The highs and the lows

Giving, growing, and loving

We have become companions

                     © 2017 by Stephanie and Jim Abney

Since he is wisely asleep at this hour (about 2:30am Tuesday morning), I can’t have him help me write another one right now – but we might do it again later and then I can come back and add it or share it on my FB National Poetry Month group. Cheers!!


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 create them and especially once they post them. Thanks so much!

*** Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog or elsewhere on social media ~ 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 EACH DAY’S SPECIFIC 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.

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