⭐️#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 278 | #SpecificForm: tanka prose

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars’ celebration. This week’s challenge was to write tanka prose. There is a ton of information in this post. Please READ through to the end.

We’re coming up on the six-year anniversary of #TankaTuesday in August, and I’m sure by now everyone knows how to craft their own tanka prose. REMEMBER… tanka prose is always at the least, one prose paragraph, and one tanka poem. Not just a tanka poem…. follow the rules of the challenge. 💜 💚 💛

We typically write tanka in the 5-7-5-7-7 or s/l/s/l/l five-line syllabic structure. Tanka prose always contains a title. One basic requirement: one paragraph, and one tanka. There are two basic forms in classic tanka prose: Preface (explanation), and the Poem Tale (episodic narration). No rhyming.

More on tanka prose HERE by Charles Tarlton, Toward a Theory and Practice of Tanka-Prose

READ the in-depth post below on how to write tanka prose



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Word Craft Poetry Syllabic Poetry Contest

Don’t forget, there will not be a #TankaTuesday post on Tuesday, June 21st. Instead, Word Craft Poetry will sponsor a syllabic poetry contest with prizes. Make sure you visit wordcraftpoetry.com on Tuesday to learn about the contest. It will run from Tuesday, 6/21/22 – Sunday, 6/26/22.

The contest is open to our writing and poetic community. Pay attention to the rules. If you don’t follow the directions, I will disqualify your submission.


I will be on vacation from June 27 through July 4, 2022. I’ll return with a new #TankaTuesday post on July 5, 2022.

Also new on the blog is a widget (at the right) that lists the names of the poets who I’ve asked to select the prompts for the different challenges for the current month. I will include this information in the challenge post and in the recap each week. Since we won’t have a photo prompt or theme prompt in June, I’ve moved the poets to the July posts.

Email with Gmail seems to be an issue for many of us. My email for word craft poetry is tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. You can also contact me HERE. BELOW, you can sign up for my daily blog post email so you never lose track of a challenge again.

Upcoming #TankaTuesday Prompt Poets

💜 July Specific Form: Lisa, the VerseSmith

💚 July Photo Prompt: Willow

💛 July Theme Prompt: Harmony

Finally, on to the challenge! Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Harmony kent8.Elizabeth15.sally cronin
2.Reena Saxena9.Cheryl16.The Versesmith
3.ben Alexander10.Jules17.theindieshe
4.Gwen Plano11.Kerfe18.kittysverses
5.willowdot2112.Ruth Klein19.Jude
6.Balroop Singh13.anita dawes20.Jane Aguiar
7.Lauren Swanberg14.Goutam Dutta  

This week, I chose Lisa’s tanka prose to feature. Written in the first person, Lisa’s poem takes the reader on a journey into her garden. I enjoyed the experience! How about you?

This is an excellent example of The Preface (explanation): This is where the prose paragraph is narrow, concerned with only providing the reader a factual summary of the basic information including the time and place, the name of a person, or a public occasion as the reason for writing on the set topic. A tanka follows the prose. Or you can write your tanka as the preface, and your prose reflects on the tanka.

“Such a Strange June”

I’m working in the garden, weeding, pruning, the ordinary tasks for summer’s approach. Heat on my head, as I’ve forgotten the hat I’d promised to wear. It’s sitting on the dowry chest in my bedroom where I can’t miss it, yet so often do. Skies suddenly darken. Sprinkles begin to dot the deck with splotches, reminding me of the markings on a dog I once had. Soon the clouds fully open and release a deluge. I race for the house, calling my now-dog to follow. Yarrow flattens. Poppies bow their heads. Gutters overflow. Tomorrow, with the sun dazzling through the cleansed air, the garden will glister. 

late spring flowers bloom
heedless to the warming days  
a sudden shower
cool sips for the thirsty soul
serenity in nature

© Lisa, The VerseSmith

When you split the tanka by reading the first three lines together, you clearly understand the pivot (a sudden shower). Notice how the pivot gives us what the Japanese call the mono no aware moment? Mono no aware recognizes the transient nature of all things. A sudden shower is temporary…

Now, read the tanka poem starting with line three (the pivot) and include lines four and five. Here, you connect with another layer of meaning.

Clearly, the tanka reflects back to the prose. Remember, make your prose memorable. Share the beauty of the moment.

This week, I’ve asked Lisa, the VerseSmith, to choose the prompt for next month’s challenge. Please email your words to me at least a week before the challenge to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. Thanks.

56 thoughts on “⭐️#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 278 | #SpecificForm: tanka prose”

  1. Oh! Thank you! I’ll be thinking about forms. There is a typo in the prose portion you have here. The last word should be “glister” not “glisten.” They do mean the same thing, but I used “glister” since it’s less common.
    A contest, how fun!


  2. Great choice! Lisa’s tanka is really pretty. I like your explanation, I never thought about dividing the tanka in two parts, two different meaning. Enjoy your vacation!


  3. Beautiful, Lisa, I love your poem! Happy holidays, Colleen. I’ll be on the road as well, visiting my kids and grandkids. 💗


          1. Not really Colleen, he’s had antibiotics they failed, he’s on a steroid nazal spray at the moment, we’ve tried nature healing too it just is taking time. 💜


  4. Beautiful poetry, Lisa! Colleen, enjoy your vacation and I hope your renovations go well. I moved on from Gmail a long time ago. No regrets, thus far.


  5. Enjoy your holiday – I’ll be thinking about you as the repairs continue on my house…
    It’s always something. At least we have homeowners insurance.


      1. Ice cube maker, freezer fail… water damage in the floor of the kitchen and part of the hall, and cieling downstairs… Demo starts tomorrow. Always something 🙂

        Good luck with your renos.


          1. Actually, mostly human error… but we have disabled the ice maker. One of our children asked how we would get ice? We said we would do it the ‘old fashioned’ way and use ice trays! 😉


          2. LOL! Oh, so funny! I’m glad you got everything under control. With the cost of appliances, it’s good to wait to purchase. I think we’re all in a downturn for a few years. Covid did a job on the world economy and Putin’s war in Ukraine isn’t helping matters.


          3. I know some folks who had a summer room put on… took over a year mostly due to supply issues.

            Still working with ‘drying out’ but good news is that less has to be replaced than we thought…

            We were just looking at some applinaces and with some the front or top door to match your cupboards costs extra, and the choice of handle anywhere from an extra 35 – 100 $$ – Just crazy.


          4. History seems to be taking a few steps backwards… One can only hope things will be better for the next generations. And that we may have some peace in our own time.


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