#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 278, #SpecificForm: tanka prose

WELCOME TO #TANKATUESDAY!

Last month, I asked Gwen Plano to select a syllabic form for us to learn more about. I didn’t hear from her, so I hope you don’t mind if I chose tanka prose as our form to work with this month. To be fair, I’ve had issues with Gmail lately. I don’t seem to receive half of my email. It’s really frustrating. I suspect some of these issues are Apple’s anti-tracking privacy features. So please, if you email me and I don’t answer you back, please send me a message on Twitter or Facebook so we connect. Thanks.

FAST FACTS

Tanka is typically written 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

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

Not sure how to write syllabic poetry?

READ THIS FIRST: How to craft Syllabic Poetry

Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet

PoetsCollective.org

sodacoffee.com/syllables

RhymeZone.com

synonyms.com 

thesaurus.com

Word Craft: Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry

THE RULES

  • Write your syllabic poem. Try not to use “ing” ending words to satisfy the word count.
  • 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.

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 schedule listed below:

Now, have fun and write some tanka prose poetry!

Let’s Talk: tanka prose

Let’s talk tanka… tanka prose, that is!

The Basics of the tanka prose form:

I try to adhere to the basic structure of tanka prose—which includes the five-line tanka written mostly in the form 5-7-5-7-7, but always in the format of s-l-s-l-l; where the middle line is a pivot between the first and the last two lines. In addition, tanka prose contains a title. As in most Japanese poetry, there is no rhyming.

Tanka poetry is not 31 continuous syllables written in a sentence.

Tanka poems derive from the Japanese waka, which is a song-like chanted poem. We write tanka in quick, breathy phrases. And like a haiku, a tanka should share a moment of awareness with the reader.

The pivot, or turn, usually happens in the third line. The pivot connects the upper poem with the lower poem with a transition from examining the image to sharing the poet’s personal response to the image.

Example from pg. 64, Word Craft: Prose & Poetry:

a coral sunset—
impressions left on pale clouds
finding clarity
when I listen to the wind
echoes of the masquerade

Colleen M. Chesebro

The pivot line is: finding clarity

Read the first three lines together:

a coral sunset— 
impressions left on pale clouds 
finding clarity

In the first three lines, I share the beauty of a spectacular sunset. The pivot is the aha moment when everything seems to come into hyper-focus.

Now take the pivot line and the last two lines:

finding clarity
when I listen to the wind
echoes of the masquerade

I reflect on my feelings in the last three lines. The sound of the wind reminds me of impermanence and how temporary this moment of splendor truly is. The last line reminds me that the colors are a short-lived illusion.

Notice how this tanka has two different meanings… also, each section can be read backward, which gives another dimension to the tanka.

The Prose Part

I also feel that the prose paragraph(s) must also seek to be, if not poetic, at least something that grabs our attention. It must compete with the verse in its style, intending to be inventive and expressive all on its own.

In tanka prose, there is one basic requirement: one paragraph, and one tanka.

However, there are different combinations:

  • 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:

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.

Poem Tale (episodic narration): gives way to a subjective and more expressive interpretation of the scene or event the poet is writing about. It gives the poet the opportunity to share intimate details or thoughts with their reader. A poem tale can be a mini short story or even a biography. Remember to include a beginning, middle, and ending.


My first example uses the preface (explanation):

My next example is a prose envelope (one tanka, two prose paragraphs) Poem
Tale:

Another prose envelope (two tanka, multiple paragraphs) Poem Tale, episodic narration:

READ:

Graceguts – Tanka

Twenty-five Examples of Tanka Prose & an Editor’s Thoughts about Tanka Prose

Spilling Tanka: An Interview with Sanford Goldstein

Graceguts: The Seed of the Human Heart: Writing Tanka

Twisted tanka

Chel Owens’ Terrible Poetry Contest was just the perfect bit of fun I needed to get my creative juices flowing! Chel says you can learn how to write terrible poetry HERE.

The form is a tanka which is usually written in the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count. Tanka shouldn’t rhyme, and we should write them from the perspective of the poet. Now that I know how to write them correctly… how do I make a terrible tanka? I’ll show you below:

Twisted tanka

shopping lists and lint
my mittens turned inside out
pocket poetry
quiet your skeptical mind
get your winter coat dry cleaned

The theme is “what one might find in one’s pocket.” This poem meets the syllable count 5-7-5-7-7. This poem literally means nothing. LOL! 😀

“The Woman in Red,” tanka, senryu, Abhanga

The Crystal Ball is a charming painting from John William Waterhouse which features a plethora of influences from Renaissance architecture to British Pre-Raphaelites like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. ~ via John William Waterhouse

This week’s #TankaTuesday poetry challenge is an Ekphrastic challenge. Read the post HERE.

It thrilled me when my friend, Rebecca Budd, introduced me to her blog called Chasing Art. I’ve always been interested in art, and the different mediums an artist uses to interpret their creativity. She shared John Waterhouse’s works, and my mind lit up with the poetic possibilities!

Painting reminds me of syllabic poetry… we choose a form based on our inspiration and what we want to say or share. We paint with words as we express our stories.

The woman in this painting captivated me. I had so many questions. Here is my first epiphany, a tanka, told from the perspective of the woman in the painting:

in my solitude
I conjured the oracle
for future outcomes
the truth is now crystal clear
'he loves me not,' my lament

© Colleen M. Chesebro

But wait… I still had more questions to answer. How about a senryu?

crystal ball readings...
the lady's favorite game
she loves when she's right

© Colleen M. Chesebro

I think there is a story here… How about this double Abhanga? I think this might be the unspoken truth revealed:

deep inside her study
the young lady in red
weaves magic in her head
to pursue truth

the crystal ball foretells
the babe she carries low 
conceived by her old beau
her spouse will scorn

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Join me every Tuesday on wordcraftpoetry.com for the #TankaTuesday Syllabic Poetry Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by to read. <3

Significant Poetry Reads: “Think Tanka – Vision in Verse,” by Annette Rochelle Aben, @YouAreTheExpert

featuring your next read!

From the Author

Throughout time, the poet has used words to convey feelings, share ideas and unite the reader with their vision. Think Tanka uses the traditional structure of Japanese lyric poetry to unite the reader to the vision of the poet. If you can “see” what she is trying to “say” in every grouping of 31 syllables, then she has done her job. Think Tanka is a book for those who appreciate poetry, those who enjoy short reads, people who like to smile and those who know what it is like to be lost in a world of imagination. Whether you are buying this book for yourself or someone else, you’ll want to make sure you get an extra copy so you’ll have one on hand to share.

Amazon.com

GRAB your copy here: Amazon.com

My Recommendation

When it comes to Japanese poetry, the tanka is one of my favorite forms to read. What I enjoyed most about “Think Tanka” is the author’s wordplay. The poetry resonates with her views of the human condition, which she touches on with humor, wisdom, and love. It was exciting to interpret the world through her eyes.

I enjoy multi-layered tanka poetry filled with meaning. Aben does not disappoint.

The tanka called “Aw Some” is chock full of inspiration:

May there always be 
One bright moment in your day 
To bring light your way 
Hold that vision in your head 
Where you can always find it

Aben, Annette Rochelle. Think Tanka: vision in verse (p. 4). Kindle Edition. 

This humorous tanka named “Praise & Excite” left me chuckling to myself for hours:

She’d receive applause 
Many found her delightful 
Others were annoyed 
Not everyone pulls it off 
Juggling chainsaws while naked

Aben, Annette Rochelle. Think Tanka: vision in verse (pp. 38-39). Kindle Edition. 

I loved the creativity of this tanka about the author:

Thinks in syllables 
Counts them out on her fingers 
Then, counts them again 
Everything inspires her 
She may write about you, next

Aben, Annette Rochelle. Think Tanka: vision in verse (p. 53). Kindle Edition. 

I devoured this book in one afternoon. Later, I returned to savor my favorites. This delightful read will fill your heart with joy!

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also!  Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments if you follow me so I can follow you!

I also share my reviews in the Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook. Click HERE to apply for membership.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a tiny amount from qualifying purchases. If you purchase from the Amazon.com link above, I earn a small commission to fund my reading habit. Amazon will not charge you extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in books that I can review. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 253 #ThemePrompt

The Holidays are Approaching

I’ve updated the #TankaTuesday book gallery! Check it out!

Books are splendid gifts to give for the holidays. I’ve read a few articles which said print books are taking longer to make and that Amazon is trying hard to keep up with demands. Shop early and order soon. Support your community writers and poets. I know I am! Email me if you have a poetry book I can add to our #TankaTuesday Book Gallery. The links take you to the poet’s Amazon Author Page, where you can browse their books.

Please support our community poets and buy someone you love a book for the holidays. 📚 ❤️


The next month is going to be a mess at my house! Our first floor renovation is finally going to happen. The old flooring will be torn out with new luxury vinyl planks installed along with new kitchen cabinets and countertops. Ron and I, including Chloe and Sophie, will be living upstairs for the entire month of December. It should be fun to corral two cats so they don’t go downstairs and bother the workers or get out. December 30th, the appliances will finally get reinstalled. Fingers crossed this all goes off without any hitches. We started this process in May… and finally in November the cabinets were delivered to our contractor. Supply line issues will drive us all crazy. I’ll keep the challenges up and we will proceed as usual for the month of December.

Left: Chloe, Right: Sophie

Remember, life happens. We’re all living through extraordinary circumstances in the time of Covid. If you miss a challenge, no worries. Be here when you can. Better yet, make sure to spend time with your families. <3

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse (Kindle) purchase link

The Moons of Autumn: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse (print) purchase link


Welcome to our weekly poetry stars’ celebration. This week’s challenge was to write our poem based off of the theme of “festive” selected by Franci from Eugi’s Causerie, using one of these forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo renga, chōka, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, Abhanga, diatelle, the Kerf poetry, and any of the syllabic forms from the Poetscollective.org.

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Reena Saxena6.Jules11.Gwen Plano
2.Trent7.Donna Matthews12.theindieshe
3.Veera8.Sri13.Ruth Klein
4.Annette Rochelle Aben9.anita dawes14.Jane Aguiar
5.Cheryl10.willowdot2115. Literature World

I’m so happy we had all this lovely poetry to read during the Thanksgiving week. Thanks for accepting the challenge and making “festive” with me.

I have to share a couple of links with you. Some of you said the prompt was difficult. Being festive isn’t reserved only for holidays and special occasions. Sometimes as poets, we recognize “festivity” in our everyday lives.

Ruth Klein’s Scribbles senryu shares another meaning of festive.

Sri is new to the challenge but I loved this rendition of festive.

Annette Rochelle Aben shares a slice of #PureMichigan! And…

Trent P. McDonald shows how festive life can be.

So, this week, I went with Willow Willers tanka. Now, tanka poems don’t usually rhyme but I know, sometimes that’s how the magic comes out of us. I like the message in the poem and how she used some imagery with the rainbow colors, which links to the imagery of dreams in the last line. This poem shows us that “festive” can be found in something as simple as reuniting with friends. The magic and beauty are usually right in front of our noses!

rainbow colours bright
family and friends unite
brush the norm away
it’s a carnival parade
where all the year’s dreams are made.

© Willow Willers

This week, I’ve asked Willow to choose the final theme prompt for December’s challenge. Please email your theme to me at least a week before the challenge to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. Thanks.

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Stars No. 252 | #PhotoPrompt

The Holiday’s are Approaching

Books are splendid gifts to give for the holidays. I’ve read a few articles which said print books are taking longer to make and Amazon is trying hard to keep up with demands. Shop early and order soon. Support your community writers. I know I am! Email me if you have a poetry book I can add to our #TankaTuesday Poetry Book Store! Please support our community poets and buy someone you love a book for the holidays. 📚 ❤️

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse (Kindle) purchase link

The Moons of Autumn: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse (print) purchase link


Image Credit: Butterfly on Asters by Lisa Smith Nelson

Welcome to our weekly poetry stars’ celebration. This week’s challenge was to write our syllabic poem inspired by the image above, using one of these forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo renga, chōka, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, shadorma, Badger hexastich, Abhanga, diatelle, the Kerf poetry, and any of the syllabic forms from the Poetscollective.org.

Many thanks to everyone who joined in below:

1.Veera9.Cheryl17.Kerfe
2.Reena Saxena10.The Versesmith18.Goutam Dutta
3.ladyleemanila11.Harmony Kent19.theindieshe
4.Padre12.Eugenia20.Ruth Klein
5.Trent McDonald13.Balroop Singh21.kittysverses
6.willowdot2114.Jules22.Francis-The Frenchie
7.s. s.15.Gwen Plano 23. Writer Ravenclaw
8.Selma16.wildchild47 24. Literature World

Please remember to add your link to Mr. Linky, so I don’t have to add you manually to the recap. Thank you. 🙏🏻

Your poetry was so impressive this week. I asked you to look beyond the obvious and you did! Some of you used your third eye to find the magic in the image. Thank you again to Lisa for selecting such an inspiring photo. Here are a few that really caught my eye:

Kerfe’s watercolor and haibun are full of magic. She shares some information about nature and complimentary colors that made this piece extra special. Notice how the haiku talks about another facet of the image? It’s perfect!

Sangeetha found magic in this photo!! She shares a romantic take on the image.

Wildchild47 used the photo to find inspiration in other ways. This is a good approach if a prompt doesn’t inspire you. Don’t be afraid to use a prompt as a stepping stone to more inspiration. Check out her imagery!

This week, I chose Balroop Singh’s tanka poems to feature. Balroop’s recent exploration into haiku and tanka has really paid off. I liked where her words took us, inspired by the image of the asters and the butterfly.

Intoxicated 
by nature’s nectar I thrive
Let me drink till dusk
kisses the sky and reminds you:
we are hypnotized by life

***

You took the sunshine;
alone I carve a new path
through the dark caverns
to gather tattered remnants
of dreams and grim emotions

© Balroop Singh

This week, I’ve asked Balroop Singh to choose the prompt for our last photo challenge of 2021. Please email your words to me at least a week before the challenge to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com. Thanks.

I’ve done the work of researching these syllabic forms for you. Word Craft: Prose & Poetry is available as an Ebook and a Print book. mybook.to/WordCraftProsePoetry Let’s write syllabic poetry together! <3

See you tomorrow for the new challenge!

#TankaTuesday: Kindness

This week’s #TankaTuesday challenge brought us the wonderful theme of “kindness” chosen by Harmony Kent. I couldn’t help myself… I had to give her a nod within my tanka. Harmony’s personality overflows with kindness, so it’s well deserved. <3

in our daily life
kindness remedies hatred
with a simple smile
between friends or foe—heal all
with affable harmony

© Colleen M. Chesebro

November 13th is World Kindness Day, but the entire month has been dedicated to the theme of kindness. That gives us all much to muse about as we celebrate Samhain (October 31st) and the Day of the Dead, November 1st.

A little kindness goes a long way. Remember to be kind to you!

#TankaTuesday – Mabon Dreams, #tanka #prose

Image by Lolame from Pixabay

The smell of wet leaves and dew always reminds me that the Autumnal Equinox or Mabon is not far away. The days are now divided equally between day and night. It’s a time to give thanks to the waning sunlight. This is a time of balance when I enjoy the fruits of my personal harvests. The seeds I planted in spring have now come to fruition. I recognize my successes and let go of the things that did not serve me well the last twelve months. As the Wheel of the year ends, I set my intentions to end terrible relationships. I let go of unhealthy habits or self-destructive beliefs.

twilight rain lingers
cooling dark forest shadows
the sweet goddess chants
a symphony of death dreams...
the scent of crushed rose petals

© Colleen M. Chesebro

How to Celebrate Mabon