#TANKA TUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 223, #THEMEPROMPT

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Welcome! Check out the NEW main menu item: Poetry Book Publishing Links to find poetry book publishing links, including links to literary journals and poetry magazines accepting submissions of poetry. If you know of a link to add to this list, let me know by email to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. ❤

It’s the fourth week of the month! Are you ready for a theme prompt? Kat from last month’s challenge picked the theme:

“Pick a Flower” and using one of the syllabic forms we use, tell us why it is special to you.

On the Monday recap, I’ll select someone to choose next month’s theme.

For this poetry challenge, you can write your poem in the forms defined on the cheat sheet:

Here are some sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab, then cut and paste your poetry into the box. Click the Count Syllables button on the button. This site does the hard work for you.

I don't get it

The 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, shadorma, Badger hexastich, and Abhanga. The first of the month challenge, you can write whatever syllabic form you choose, but not this challenge.
  • Post it on your blog.
  • Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the Https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink).
  • 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.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name, and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.

Follow the monthly schedule listed below:

Now, have fun and write some poetry!


#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY STARS #SynonymsOnly

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to choose synonyms for the words, “search & lost,” using one of these forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich (hexastich for short), and Abhanga.

Remember… the first of the month you can write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below). I do this for a couple of reasons. It requires those of you who would like to enter contests or to submit your poetry to literary journals to learn how to follow the rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenging part. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.D. L. Finn10.The Versesmith19.Dorinda Duclos
2.ladyleemanila11.Jules20.Linda Lee Lyberg
3.Gwen Plano12.Annette Rochelle Aben21.Kerfe Roig
4.Cheryl13.Dr. Crystal Grimes22.M J Mallon
5.theindieshe14.Jude23.anita dawes
6.Laura McHarrie15.Myrna Migala24.Sally Cronin
7.Trent McDonald16.Ritu Bhathal25.Heather
8.willowdot2117.Goutam Dutta26.Colleen Chesebro
9.Erlyn Olivia18.ruthscribbles  

I could not believe all the great poetry this week! It’s been hard keeping up with NaPoWritMo, writing poems, and preparing for the big surprise at the end of the month! One thing is certain… you are all great poets and deserve stars!

Creativity is the name of the game in poetry. Who said you can’t combine some of the American forms with some prose thrown in to make longer poetry? Check out Jude’s poem, “The One thing we must never lose.” He combines shadorma and Abhanga poetry with a bit of prose to make a satisfying longer poem with a great message.

I loved all the creative Etheree poems this week, too. Check out Sally Cronin’s double reversed nonet: “Ageism.” Today (April 18th) is my birthday, so that poem really had me laughing! Thank you, Sally!

It was Ritu’s Etheree, “Search & Lost,” that grabbed my heart this week!

Set
Adrift
In my thoughts
Hunting wildly
Looking for the truth
The answers to my 'Whys'
Questions keep bombarding me
Will I find what I'm looking for?
Possibly not, but really, I know
The solution to all my woes... is me

©Ritu 2021

So, this week, I’ve asked Ritu 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.


See you tomorrow for the new poetry challenge!

TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | #PhotoPrompt

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to choose synonyms for the words, “loose and tight,” using one of these forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Renga, Solo-Renga, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, Badger Hexastich (hexastich for short), and Abhanga.

Remember… the first of the month you can write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below). I do this for a couple of reasons. It requires those of you who would like to enter contests or to submit your poetry to literary journals to learn how to follow their rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenge part. ❤

ALSO: Make sure you are grabbing the URL of your “published” post when you link back to the challenge and in Mr. Linky. If you need extra help with these features, let me know and I will help you. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Reena Saxena6.D. L. Finn11.Ruth Scribbles
2.Trent McDonald7.Heather12.Ritu Bhathal
3.willowdot218.Jules13.kat
4.theindieshe9.anita dawes14.Colleen Chesebro
5.Cheryl10.Jude15.M.J. Mallon
Image credit: D.L. Finn

Wowser! D.L. Finn’s photo was filled with magic! Please take a moment to read her post about the photo HERE.

This week, I selected Anita Dawes‘ Etheree poem to feature because she picked up on the model wearing a mask which turned her poem into a poignant view of our current world status. Truthfully, I thought little about the mask, which goes to show how normal mask wearing has become. I thought there was great pathos in the photo and clearly, Anita felt many emotions as well.

The classic Etheree form should be unrhymed and focus on one subject or idea. The poem should have great rhythm and flow. Etheree should have a title, but sometimes less is more. This is a great form to experiment with.

Look at filler words when you’re writing your poetry. Not everything has to be stated in a sentence. Phrases are acceptable. We don’t have to spell out everything to our readers. Let them pick up your meaning through adjectives and breathy phrases.

Words like: the, so, that, by, which, etc. add nothing to the poem. Think in descriptive words, and use verbs to convey action. Just because you have X number of syllables to use doesn’t mean you want to waste them with words that add no meaning to your poem. This is especially true when you are writing the Japanese forms of haiku, senryu, tanka, etc.

This week, I’ve asked Anita Dawes to choose the prompt for next month’s challenge. Please email your photo and the photo’s credits to me at least a week before the challenge to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. Thanks.

My
Broken
Friend, I hug
The world swallowed
By the hand of greed
I can give so little
Face covering a small step
It is hoped each will do their best
To stop the tears of pain and heartbreak
So the world can spin in harmony once more…

© Anita Dawes 2021

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

#TANKA TUESDAY POETRY STARS | Theme prompt: Immortality

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to write about “immortality” using one of these forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Renga, Solo-Renga, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, Badger Hexastich (hexastich for short), and Abhanga. The Diatelle form is also an option.

Remember… the first of the month you can write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below). I do this for a couple of reasons. It requires those of you who would like to enter contests or to submit your poetry to literary journals to learn how to follow their rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenge part. ❤

ALSO: Make sure you are grabbing the URL of your “published” post when you link back to the challenge and in Mr. Linky. If you need extra help with these features, let me know and I will help you. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Padre11.kat21.Donna Matthews
2.Reena Saxena12.Laura McHarrie22.D. L. Finn
3.Gwen Plano13.Myforever Myrna Migala23.Jude
4.Trent McDonald14.Erlyn Olivia24.The Bee Writes…
5.theindieshe15.ladyleemanila25.Kerfe Roig
6.Jules16.Selma26.Ruth Scribbles
7.willowdot2117.Ritu Bhathal27.Sally Cronin
8.Eugenia18.kittysverses28.Pat
9.Cheryl19.Merril D. Smith  
10.Annette Rochelle Aben20.Colleen Chesebro  

There was some truly amazing poetry this week. Immortality can mean something different to everyone. Here are a few poems that expressed different interpretations of what immortality means to them:

Trent McDonald

willowdot21

Erlyn Olivia

Annette Rochelle Aben

Sally Cronin

Ruth Scribbles

I chose Kat Myrman’s Abhanga quatrain (series of four, four-line stanzas) to feature this week. The Abhanga has that lovely rhythm 6/6/6/4 syllables, L2 and L3 rhyme: x a a x, x being unrhymed. I’ve shared her poem below. Notice how the four quatrains written together form a longer poem? Just because the form is four lines long, doesn’t mean you can’t write more than one stanza. Japanese poetry is different, however. Always follow the instructions carefully on those forms.

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

"mere mortals"

it shouldn’t surprise us
how nonchalantly death
steals away our breath
in just a blink
without considering
that we have things to do
life to live, we’re not through
no death don’t care
the cruel fact of it is
when it’s your time to go
you can bet death will show
ready or not
immortality’s not
for mere mortals like us
just accept it, don’t fuss
enjoy the ride

©2021kat

Fly free… don’t forget tomorrow we’ll write more poetry! See you then…

TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | #Synonyms Only: “Eager & Hope”

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge words were selected by Sally Cronin who chose the words, “eager & hope.” Using one of these forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Renga, Solo-Renga, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, Badger Hexastich (hexastich for short), and Abhanga we found synonyms for the two words and wrote our poetry.

Remember… the first of the month you can write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below). I do this for a couple of reasons. It requires those of you who would like to enter contests or to submit your poetry to literary journals to learn how to follow their rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenge part. ❤

ALSO: Make sure you are grabbing the URL of your “published” post when you link back to the challenge and in Mr. Linky. If you need extra help with these features, let me know and I will help you. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Henry Chukwuma11.Tiffany21.Vashti Quiroz- Vega
2.Padre12.Cheryl22.anita dawes
3.Gwen Plano13.Jude23.Goutam Dutta
4.willowdot2114.s. s.24.Ritu Bhathal
5.theindieshe15.Pat25.Ruth Scribbles
6.Annette Rochelle Aben16.Heather26.Laura Eliza Haynes
7.Myforever Myrna Migala17.Donna Matthews27.M J Mallon
8.Tina Stewart Brakebill18.Erlyn Olivia28.Sally Cronin
9.D. L. Finn19.Selma29.D. Wallace Peach
10.Jules20.kittysverses30.Linda Lee Lyberg

First of all, I must congratulate all of you on the scope and magnitude of your poetry. Finding the right synonyms for the words, “eager and hope” certainly made your poems sing! Well done! As always, I like to highlight a few poems:

s.s. shared a haiku, called Waters Warming.

spring~ waters warming,
longing to float desires
on new paper boats

©2021 s.s.

What made the poem was the pivot, found in the last line, where she turns our attention to the imagery of new paper boats. This is what I call a hybrid haiku/senryu. We have the nature elements of the waters warming and a seasonal word: spring, like we use in a haiku. Yet, the poet adds a human response in the second line – “longing to float desires.” The entire haiku/senryu is really a metaphor for sexual desire and beginning a relationship anew. Metaphors make for great poetry!

Haiku are about nature, and senryu are written about human nature. Senryu can even be kind of raunchy and filled with sexual innuendo!

Selma, shared an impressive collection of poems called Eager & Hope.

Diana Peach shared a double ennead (99 syllable poetry I created for Carrot Ranch.com) that gives us a glimpse into her next book! This one is called The Sea Witch’s Bargain.

This week, I chose Jude to select the synonyms for next month. His haibun poem, Kissed by beauty. Between blessing and curse, is a tribute to the curse of beauty, or wanting to be seen as beautiful… when all his female character wanted was to be beautiful inside.

Jude writes his haibun prose as if it were freestyle poetry. I believe this works as well as writing sentences which is customary in a haibun poem. It’s creative and flows well with his haiku/senryu featured in bold print. I removed the images to concentrate on his words. Please visit his blog to get the full visual impact of this poem.

Remember haibun can be written as autobiographical prose, a travel journal, a slice of life, a memory, a dream, a character sketch, a place, an event, or an object. Focus on one or two elements. Haibun are really creative forms. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

The idea is to keep your prose simple, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing should be overstated. The length can be brief with one or two sentences with a haiku, or longer prose with a haiku sandwiched between, to longer memoir works including many haiku, as Jude did below.

The haiku, or in this case, senryu should act as a comparison—different yet somehow connected to the prose, as it moves the story forward by taking the narrative in another direction.

Many beauties
No two alike
Yet none alone

Mirror Mirror on the wall
If you won’t tell me I’m beautiful
Then I’ll find someone who will.”

On the cusp of dawn
She creeps from a salacious night
Clothed in disillusionment
And shrouded in regret
All her life she’s been christened a beauty
Drunk on vanity
Intoxicated by the scent of desire
For even now, she craves to hear it
Even now, it still drags her from the thralls of misery
Addicted to the silver-tongued promises that whisper;
‘Fairest of them all’

Queen of night Orchid
Only when the full moon beams
Does your flower bloom

She wields elegance with exquisite poise
Picturesque in grace and humility
Adorned in timeless splendor
But her eyes are dolorous with longing
Her lips are brushed with the pains of conformity
And her hair is pinned by the restraints of tradition
She loves and despises her beauty
Wields it with nonchalance
Never choosing, yet always chosen
A heart turned to stone
And so, let all her lovers beware
For all hearts must bleed
As She has bled

Lilies of the vale
Siren scents of innocence
Poisoned with malice

In the spotlight of twilight
She sashays seduction
And flounces artistry
The belle of the ball
The peach of a gaze
A pipe dream to swooning eyes
And yet loneliness still dogs her
And love still evades her
For settling is not in her fabric
And many do not understand
That the beauty she craves,
Is the beauty within

Lush vermilion rose
A spectrum of gorgeous hues
What is your true shade?

She is blessed with divine beauty
In rags or riches, she still enchants
All who look upon her, love her
But she does not know how beautiful she is
How much passion she incites
And how duplicitous this world can be
For her amorous heart
Never sees the bad
But only the good
A blessing
And a curse

Bright yellow daisy
In a meadow of happiness
Whilst dark clouds hover

Beauty
Sweet, sour, and everything between
For just like love and hate
The line between blessing and curse,
Is so very thin

© judeitakali

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

See you tomorrow for a new weekly challenge!

#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 215, #POET’SCHOICE

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

Happy March! Check out the NEW main menu item: Poetry Book Publishing Links to find poetry book publishing links, including links to literary journals and poetry magazines accepting submissions of poetry. If you know of a link to add to this list, let me know by email to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. ❤

It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Word Crafters, choose your own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to you! This opportunity only happens once a month!

WAIT…

Are you looking for inspiration for your syllabic poetry? Find an image on Pixabay.com or experiment with “found poetry” to find some inspiration. Another option is to try some magnetic poetry. You still have to count syllables, but it’s like putting together a puzzle! Use this opportunity to try a new form!

The Poet’s Collective features an index of Syllabic Poetry Forms. Check it out!

This challenge is a true poet’s choice! Use any syllabic poetry form that you’d like. As long as there are syllables to count, you’re good to go! Be creative. If your form is something new, teach us how to write it. Have fun!

For this challenge, you can write your poem in the forms defined on the Poetry Challenge Cheatsheet below, and/or any other syllabic form you’d like to try.

Here are some impressive sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables

synonyms.com 

This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.

thesaurus.com

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

writerlywords.com/syllables/

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site to compose my poems. A simple yet very powerful syllable counter for poems and text which will count the total number of syllables and number of syllable per line for poems like haikus, limericks, and more.

How Many Syllables.com Counts your syllables and helps you find rhyming words too!

I don't get it

THE RULES

  • Write a poem using a form of your choice: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Renga, Solo-Renga, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, Badger Hexastich, and Abhanga. Don’t forget to check out our list of optional forms.
  • Post it on your blog.
  • Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink).
  • 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.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name, and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.

See the URL in the browser image below. This is what the URL of your post will look like after you published your poem. Cut and paste that address into Mr. Linky below:

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, #Tanka, #Tanka Prose, #micropoetry, #renga, #solo-renga, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma, #Gogyohka, #BadgerHexastich, #Abhanga

Now, have fun and write some poetry!


TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE STARS | Theme Prompt: Dreams

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to write about the theme of “dreams,” using one of these forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Renga, Solo-Renga, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, Badger Hexastich (hexastich for short), and Abhanga.

Remember… the first of the month you can write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below). I do this for a couple of reasons. It requires those of you who would like to enter contests or to submit your poetry to literary journals to learn how to follow their rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenge part. ❤

ALSO: Make sure you are grabbing the URL of your “published” post when you link back to the challenge and in Mr. Linky. If you need extra help with these features, let me know and I will help you. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Trent McDonald10.Zander19.Donna Matthews
2.Padre11.Dave Madden20.kittysverses
3.Eugenia12.Gwen Plano21.Vashti Quiroz- Vega
4.Annette Rochelle Aben13.Erlyn Olivia22.Ruth Scribbles
5.Jules14.s. s.23.M J Mallon
6.Ritu Bhathal15.Anita Dawes24.Sally Cronin
7.willowdot2116.theindieshe25.Merril D. Smith
8.Cheryl17.Balroop Singh26.Kerfe Roig
9.D. L. Finn18.Heather Kelley27.Colleen M. Chesebro

Congratulations everyone! The poems this week were astounding! I have to share a few highlights because we all learn technique and style from each other:

Trent McDonald: Read his poem and follow the link to the discussion of his dream. There is some really strange stuff going on here! Definitely worth a read!

Zander: Notice how he writes his tanka by separating the two seven-syllable lines from the 5/7/5 portion. This effect produces a pleasing visual on the page. Many modern poets write their tanka in this form. I like it!

Willow: She took up the challenge to write a Diatelle. This poem shows how effective a rhyming scheme can be.

In the end, I went with Merril D. Smith’s Badger Hexastich, “The Dream.” This is a delightful poem. Notice how she put herself inside the painting as if she was part of the dream. Writing poetry is a form of communication and connection. When you share bits of yourself with your readers, your poetry becomes personal to the reader. ❤

This week, I’ve asked Merril D. Smith 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.

Christian Krohg, “Tired” captured from Merril D. Smith blog

The Dream, #BadgerHexastitch

almost
familiar, this
place, my house, but not—see
the walls dissolve, and I
am someone else
watching

watching
myself, I am
within, without—I am
fixed and infinite, I
am everything
I know.

©2021 Merril D. Smith

See you tomorrow for another Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge!

TANKA TUESDAY POETRY STARS | #SYNONYMSOnly for “Loose & Tight”

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars celebration. This week’s challenge was to choose synonyms for the words, “loose and tight,” using one of these forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Renga, Solo-Renga, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, Badger Hexastich (hexastich for short), and Abhanga.

Remember… the first of the month you have the opportunity to write any syllabic poetry form of your choice. The rest of the time, we write our syllabic poetry in one of the forms listed, and we follow a schedule (posted below). I do this for a couple of reasons. Those of you who would like to enter contests or submit your poetry to literary journals are required to follow their rules. This challenge gives you that practice. Besides, why enter a challenge if you don’t follow the rules? That’s the challenge part. ❤

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.ladyleemanila10.Laura McHarrie19.The Versesmith
2.Henry. C11.D. L. Finn20.Jude
3.Trent McDonald12.Myrna at myforever21.Vashti Quiroz- Vega
4.theindieshe13.Anita Dawes22.Ruth
5.Ritu Bhathal14.kittysverses23.M J Mallon
6.s. s.15.Cheryl24.Sally Cronin
7.willowdot2116.Gwen Plano25.Annette Rochelle Aben
8.Dave Madden17.Erlyn Olivia26.Kerfe Roig
9.Jules18.Pat27.

I’m having WordPress issues again. My Safari browser won’t let me log in to most of your blogs, including my own. I have a workaround for now, but it only works part of the time. I’ll tackle this issue with WP tomorrow. I REFUSE to use Google Chrome. My MAC does not do well with that browser. Anyway, bear with me.

ALSO: Make sure you are grabbing the URL of your “published” post when you link back to the challenge and in Mr. Linky. I had two links this week that I couldn’t find the poetry for. If you need extra help with these features, let me know and I will help you. ❤

I was totally blown away by your poetry this week. Good job everybody! Ultimately, I chose Sally Cronin’s butterfly cinquain, “Fate’s Voice,” to be our star of the week.

This week, I’ve asked Sally Cronin to choose the two words for next month’s #SynonymsOnly challenge. Please email your words to me at least a week before the challenge to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. Thanks.

Fate’s Voice

Detached
the mind wanders
to explore the ‘what ifs’
of decisions made long ago
in life
designed to be inflexible
without the give and take
to allow fate
its voice.

©Sally Cronin 2021

See you tomorrow for the NEW Challenge!

Syllabic Poetry FormS for TANKA TUESDAY ON Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

It’s time for a refresher! This tutorial will help poets acquaint themselves with the different forms to use for our Weekly Tanka Tuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, cinquain and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma. (updated 11/27/2020)

This form is located on the page: Poetry Challenge Cheat Sheet.

Remember to follow the schedule for each week:

*HAIKU IN ENGLISH: Traditional Haiku in English is written in three lines with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the last line: 5/7/5, for a total of seventeen syllables written in the present tense.

  • Haiku do not rhyme, nor do they contain metaphors and similes. The use of an implied metaphor is acceptable.
  • The current standards for creating Haiku in English suggest a form with three lines and syllables of 3/5/3 (11 syllables). Even the more abbreviated haiku version with three lines and syllables of 2/3/2 (7 syllables) is now thought of more favorably than the traditional 5/7/5 format. Hybrid haiku are written with seventeen-syllables in one or more lines.
  • Most haiku are written about nature, the seasons, a beautiful moment in nature, an emotional experience while in nature, or change. A haiku should share a special moment of awareness with the reader.
  • There is often a seasonal word used to explain the time of year, called a kigo, which is a seasonal description, such as: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and New Year’s. There should only be one kigo per haiku. It’s up to the poet to decide if they want to include a kigo in their poem.
  • Most haiku do not contain titles.
  • The use of punctuation is optional in the creation of the haiku.
  • Three or more haiku written together are considered a series or sequence.

*SENRYU IN ENGLISH: Traditional 5/7/5, Current 3/5/3, and Current 2/3/2syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and should have irony present.

  • Traditional Senryu in English is written in three lines with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the last line: 5/7/5, for a total of seventeen syllables written in the present tense.
  • Senryu do not rhyme, nor do they contain metaphors and similes.
  • The current standards for creating Senryu in English suggest a form with three lines and syllables of 3/5/3 (11 syllables). Even the more abbreviated senryu version with three lines and syllables of 2/3/2 (7 syllables) is now thought of more favorably than the traditional 5/7/5 format.
  • A senryu is written about love, human foibles relating to a personal event, and should have an element of irony present somewhere in the form.
  • Senryu focus on the awkward moments in life making the human, not the world around them, the subject of their creative endeavor. Senryu poetry deals with the human condition focusing on sexual matters, family relations, religion, politics, and anything that touches on the pain we experience through sorrow, prejudice, oppression, anger, and frustration.
  • Humor and sarcasm are two of the most favorable elements in a senryu.
  • Use precise, simple language and be direct and explicit in your word choice.
  • Senryu are blunt and do not deal in sentimentality.
  • Three or more senryu written together are a series or sequence.

What is the difference between haiku and senryu?

*HAIGA IN ENGLISH: First, the haiku or senryu portion of the poem is the most important part and must standalone without the image. It is created by using the traditional 5/7/5, or the current 3/5/3, or the current 2/3/2 syllable structure (but not all three together). Haiga, often called observational poetry, contains an image with either a haiku or senryu written on it or near it. Haiga usually combines three art forms:  imagery: photographs or original art, poetry, and calligraphy.

  • Second, images cannot complete the haiku or senryu. If the image is necessary, to understand the poem, then both the image and the poem fail.
  • The image should add something to the reader’s appreciation of the piece.
  • The image can create an alternative interpretation to the one articulated by the literal reading of the poem. That additional interpretation is what the poet should strive to convey.
  • The image should form a contrast, or comparison with the imagery expressed in the poem. We should strive to produce an emotion of the moment between the poet and the reader, the image, and the poem.
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*TANKA IN ENGLISH: 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of 5 lines written in the first-person point of view from the perspective of the poet. When writing a Tanka, the third line is considered your “pivot,” but feel free to let it happen anywhere, or to exclude it. It is not mandatory. If you do use a pivot, the meaning should apply to the first two lines, as well as the last two lines of your Tanka. Remember, Great Tanka can be read 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 be applied to the first two lines of your poem, as well as 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 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.

*GOGYOHKA IN ENGLISH:  A Gogyohka is a short poem based on the ancient Japanese tanka.

  • Gogyohka contains five lines but could have four or six lines. It’s up to the poet.
  • Each line should consist of one phrase with a line-break after each phrase or breath.
  • Gogyohka has no restraints on the numbers of words, or syllables used. However, this form should be written as other Japanese short verse poetry.
  • The theme for gogyohka is unrestricted.

*HAIBUN IN ENGLISH: The rules for constructing a Haibun are simple.  

  • Begin your haibun with a title. The title should hint at something barely noticeable in the beginning, which comes together by the ending.
  • Your haibun prose can be written in present or past tense including, first person (I), third person (he/she), or first-person plural (we).
  • Subject matter: autobiographical prose, travel journal, a slice of life, memory, dream, character sketch, place, event, or object. Focus on one or two elements.
  • Keep your prose simple. All excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing should be overstated.
  • The length can be brief with one or two sentences with a haiku, or longer prose with a haiku sandwiched between, to longer memoir works including many haiku.
  • There are different Haibun styles: Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one haiku) haiku/prose, or prose/haiku; Verse Envelope: haiku/prose/haiku; Prose Envelope: prose/haiku/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements.
  • Your prose tells the story and gives the information which helps to define the theme. It creates a mood through tone, paving the way for the haiku.
  • The haiku should act as a comparison—different yet somehow connected to the prose, as it moves the story forward by taking the narrative in another direction.
  • The haiku should not attempt to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the haiku resolves the conflict in an unexpected way. Sometimes, the haiku questions the resolution of the prose. While the prose is the narrative, the haiku is the revelation or the reaction.

*TANKA PROSE: Tanka prose combines two types of writing verse and prose.

  • The tanka poem is typically written in the 5/7/5/7/7 or s/l/s/l/l five-line syllabic structure.
  • Unlike the single tanka, tanka prose contains a title.
  • There is one basic requirement: one paragraph, and one tanka. However, just as with Haibun, there are many Tanka prose combinations, such as Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one tanka) tanka/prose, or prose/tanka; Verse Envelope: tanka/prose/tanka; Prose Envelope: prose/tanka/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements of your choice.
  • There are two basic forms in classic tanka prose: Preface (explanation), and the Poem Tale (episodic narration).
  • Be creative. Do experiment with the placement of your prose and poetry on the page. If the elements of tanka prose are present, you can rearrange your prose lines separated by the lines of tanka poetry.

*RENGA, SOLO-RENGA, SOLO-NO-RENGA: The Renga or Renku is syllabic, featuring alternating stanzas, usually of 5-7-5 and 7-7 syllables. (onji or the Japanese sound symbol for which there is no exact translation in English, the closest we can come in translation is a syllable)

• A cooperative poem, written by 2 or more poets.

• Spontaneous.

• Composed with stanzas or verses that “link and shift”, it does not tell a sequential story.

• Structured with a beginning, middle and end. Hokku (starting verse) followed by linked verses and ends with a Tanka (small poem).

• Connected to the seasons. The hokku shows the season in which the gathering occurs, somewhere within the renga, there should be verses referring to each of the seasons to create a complete circle.

The first part of the renga is a (5/7/5) haiku (hokku) written by your guest. The second part of the renga is the host’s response (wakiku): (7/7). The renga’s value exists in the interaction between the different links. It’s that transition between the first three lines and how they leap to the last two lines, penned by two different poets, that defines the renga.

Now, you can see where the renga resembles the tanka: 5/7/5, 7/7. The difference between the tanka (written by one poet), and the renga (two poets collaborate to write the poem) is the number of authors. Sometimes, you will see a renga called a “Tan-Renga” which means short poem. It still means the same thing.

(Remember, the renga will feature a haiku (nature related) where a tanka is a much looser form, allowing for different subjects other than nature. A tanka does not require the first three lines to be a haiku. There’s your difference between a renga and a tanka).

solo renga or solo no renga both mean that the renga was written by one poet. The first three lines are still a haiku, and the last two lines are written with seven syllables per line. It is customary to write the haiku, skip a line between and then add the last two lines.

*CINQUAIN: A cinquain is a form of shape poetry that looks great centered on the page. The required syllables needed for each line give it a unique shape. The cinquain (aka the quintain or the quintet) is a poem or stanza of five lines.

The Crapsey cinquain is a five-line, non-rhyming poem featuring a syllable structure of 2/4/6/8/2. Choose words that create drama which builds into the fourth line. Remember, the turn occurs on line five, the most important line. This is where you change your focus away from the drama in some interesting way. Surprise your readers!

The Crapsey cinquain has seen several variations by modern poets, including:

VariationDescription
Reverse cinquaina form with one 5-line stanza in a syllabic pattern of two, eight, six, four, two.
Mirror cinquaina form with two 5-line stanzas consisting of a cinquain followed by a reverse cinquain.
Butterfly cinquaina nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.
Crown cinquaina sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem.
Garland cinquaina series of six cinquains in which the last is formed of lines from the preceding five, typically line one from stanza one, line two from stanza two, and so on.

*ETHEREE: The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10syllables. An Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count.  

An Etheree should focus on one idea or subject. Remember to create a memorable message within the required Etheree syllabic count. The poem is unrhymed but should contain rhythm and flow. Always give your Etheree poem a title. This form must include a sense of meaning with the emphasis on imagery.

The table below will help you remember the different types of Etheree poetry:

VariationDescription
Classic EthereeTen lines featuring a syllable count of 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 syllables per line.
Reverse EthereeTen lines featuring a syllable count of 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 syllables per line.
Stacked/Double EthereeTwenty lines with a syllable count of1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10, 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 syllables per line, which looks like two triangles joined together in the center.
Stacked/Double Inverted EthereeTwenty lines with a syllable count per line of 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1, 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 syllables per line, which looks like an hourglass when centered on the page.

*NONET: A nonet is stanzaic and written in any number of 9-line stanzas with the following syllable count per line: 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 syllables per line. It can be written on any subject and rhyming is optional, although they are usually unrhymed. Because of the hourglass shape of a double nonet, it can be used to represent time’s passage.

Decide on a meaningful subject and add a title to your nonet. Don’t use words that rhyme. Instead, choose nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Always show more than you tell. Use minimal punctuation.

The table below will assist you in writing nonet poetry.

VariationDescription
Classic NonetNine lines featuring a syllable count of 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 syllables per line.
Reverse or Inverted NonetNine lines featuring a syllable count of 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 syllables per line.
Double Nonet
At least two or more stanzas with nine lines each, featuring a syllable count of 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1, 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 or (double reversed) 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9, 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 syllables per line.
Double Inverted NonetEighteen lines with a syllable count per line of 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9, 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 which looks like two triangles joined in the middle or 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1, 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 syllables per line which looks like an hourglass.

*SHADORMA: The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables with no set rhyme scheme. It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5.   

When writing a Shadorma I would concentrate on a specific subject. The brevity of syllables is perfect for that kind of structure.  

A Shadorma poem may consist of one stanza or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas). This form can have many stanzas if each stanza follows the meter.   

HAPPY POETRY WRITING!