A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

try a tanka

Tanka is a 5-line form derived, like haiku and senryu, from the Japanese, but now found in many languages. The Japanese form consists of 31 onji (sound units) divided into segments of 5-7-5-7-7. English-language tanka tends to greater freedom in form, while generally observing a 31-syllable limit over a 5-line format. Many also prefer a short-long-short-long-long arrangement of the lines, but this is not a fixed practice. There is generally a turn (a shift of meaning, tone, etc.), often at the end of the second or third line. In this case, I'd place the turn at the end of the second line. Lines 1-2 give information, lines 3-5 reflect on the information.
Anyway, I wrote this tanka last week. It's the first tanka I ever wrote.

the cherry
stands shedding its leaves
what can it know
of blossoms fallen in spring
and blossoms yet to come


Blogger floots said...

Beautifully done! I've only tried the form once before but, as instructed, I've had another go. I felt that I mishandled the "turn" but really enjoyed the process and will try again. Cheers

4:07 AM  
Blogger Judy Kamilhor said...

Well-done, Bill. I wrote my first tanka a couple of weeks ago, and it is a different process than haiku, but equally interesting. I finally figured out how to create a link, so your blog is now on mine. See you some day at the Noguchi or elsewhere, Kami.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks floots and kami. I've written a few more since this one, some of which will eventually turn up here.

2:47 PM  
Blogger bigshoulders said...

you know, i re-read your post about the "turn" and realized i had done it unconciously in my first attempt. beginner's luck? perhaps. i've edited the tanka, and think it flows much better now. thanks again for your feedback. i'll be posting more for sure.


6:04 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

bs: Your "unconsciously" is what I meant by your feeling with the form. Good luck with it.

7:00 AM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

thank's for sharing info,..!
Kerja Keras Adalah Energi Kita

7:24 AM  

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