Friday, June 01, 2012

Time for tanka

From Tanka Poems

Tanka is an Ancient Style of poetry that speaks to the modern soul.

They date back to the 1300's Most important form of Japanese poetry.

When they wrote them it was often because of special occasions
or if the occasion wasn't complete.

When People first discovered Tanka poetry they realized the emotional significance
by reading poems and writing their own.
Tankas have 31 syllables and they have lots of expression and musicality.

The Tanka is Haiku. It focuses on nature and season, but is a bit longer than the Haiku.
It consists of 5 lines for a total of 31 syllables.
The syllables per line are according to the pattern

5 -7 -5 - 7 - 7.  

The Form of Tanka in English

There are some English-language tanka writers who adhere to a thirty-one syllable form, but most use fewer than 31 syllables, divided into five lines that sometimes use a short-long-short-long-long pattern, and sometimes use other patterns according to the needs of the poem. The reason for this arises mainly from differences in the Japanese and English languages, including vast differences in the number of syllables used to express the same idea, and, perhaps most importantly, the essential stressed and unstressed pronunciation of syllables in English, which is not found in Japanese and which in English makes a strict syllable count less meaningful than meter.
Often, tanka in English that are forced to thirty-one syllables will be overloaded with images or will stretch the poem beyond the “moment in time” that is the most important element of a tanka. That is not to say, of course, that some English-language tanka may require exactly thirty-one syllables, or even a few more than that. American Tanka welcomes well-crafted five-line submissions of any syllabic length that are true to the purpose and spirit of the tanka form. (For a far more comprehensive discussion of tanka mechanics, see again Michael McClintock’s Introduction to The Tanka Anthology, Red Moon Press, 2003.)

Not sure this really fits - but for one-a-day in June, it's a start!

a ten mile walk
I'm full of energy
any morning
the thought of household tasks
makes me weary

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