WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!
It’s the fifth Tuesday of the month! This is our chance to work with a specific syllabic poetry form. So, take this opportunity to learn more about the particular form. You can use any subject, theme, or words to convey your message.
This week’s form is:
Here’s a quick review of the tanka form:
TANKA IN ENGLISH: 5/7/5/7/7 or the s/l/s/l/l/ syllable structure. Your Tanka will comprise 5 lines written in the first-person point of view from the perspective of the poet.
When writing a Tanka, we consider the third line your “pivot,” but feel free to let it happen anywhere, or to exclude it. It is not mandatory. If you use a pivot, the meaning should apply to the first two lines, and the last two lines of your Tanka. Remember, we can read great tanka poems both forward and backward.
- Your tanka should be filled with poetic passion, including vivid imagery to make up both parts of the poem. The first three lines of the poem consist of one part and should convey a specific theme. The third line of your poem is the often where the pivot occurs, although it can happen anywhere. The pivot gives direction to your poem, whose meaning should apply to the first two lines of your poem, and the last two lines so that your tanka can be read forward and backward.
- The last two lines of your tanka are where the metaphor (where the poet compare two concepts without the words: like or as), simile (where the poet compares two concepts with words: like or as) or where a comparison occurs to complement the first three lines of your poetry. Use words you are comfortable with from everyday speech. Avoid ending your lines with articles and prepositions.
- Make use of your five senses. Don’t describe your theme. Instead, use adjectives, or exclamations of sound, taste, and smell, along with hearing and sight to make your tanka powerful.
- Tanka are untitled (but for this challenge we title them to keep track of our poems on our blog) and should be written in natural language using sentence fragments and phrases, not sentences.
- While many poets will adhere to the 5/7/5/7/7 structure, there is no rule that says this is written in stone. Remember, tanka poetry is looser in structure than Haiku. Let your creativity guide you. Follow the short/long/short/long/long rhythmic count instead of counting the syllables in the traditional fashion.
- Tanka poetry does not require punctuation. You don’t have to use capitals at the beginning of each line, nor do you need to add a period at the end.
- A double tanka is two poems. Three or more tanka poems are a sequence. They are usually linked by a common theme.
Autumn gusts signal an advance in the seasons change perfumes the air as if driving acceptance of the things I cannot change
Notice the first three lines below. We know Autumn gusts signal a change in the seasons.
Autumn gusts signal an advance in the seasons change perfumes the air
The PIVOT is: “change perfumes the air.”
Now, take the third line (my pivot) and add the last two lines to the poem:
change perfumes the air as if driving acceptance of the things I cannot change
Notice how the last three lines (including the pivot) have a secondary meaning to the first three lines? I also use a simile (as if) which is a figure of speech in which we explicitly compare two unlike things: I compared the smell of change and driving acceptance…, in this example.
*When you write your tanka, split it apart like this and see if both parts make sense. There should be two meanings to your poem when you’re all finished.
Good tanka poems take practice. Keep writing and read how the Japanese masters wrote tanka:
PLEASE support the other poets by visiting blogs and leaving comments. Peer reviews help poets perfect their writing craft. Remember… sharing is caring.
Here are some impressive sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables
This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.
For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.
A simple yet powerful syllable counter for poems and text which will count the total number of syllables and the number of syllables per line for poems like haikus, limericks, and more. This site does the hard work for you.
THE *NEW* RULES
- Write a poem using a form of your choice: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma.
- Post it on your blog.
- Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the URL: https:// address of this post into your post).
- Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink). You might have to delete your previous entry.
- Please click the small checkbox on Mr. Linky about data protection.
- Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
- Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
Follow the schedule listed below:
I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY.
If you add these hashtags to the post TITLE on your blog (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often on Twitter:
#Haiku, #Senryu, #Haiga, #Gogyohka, #Tanka, #TankaProse, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #Renga, #SoloRenga, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma
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