T is for tanka

April is National Poetry month, so it’s time for another poem. The poetic style for today will be tanka. This is a five-line poem that is similar to haiku in subject matter (nature). The nature image that I’m going to use for my poem will be the sunflower. In the image above, I had fun drawing hearts and flowers and I purposely made them stylized, rather than realistic. The tanka poem has a set number of syllables, and it doesn’t have to rhyme. The number of syllables are: line one: 5 syllables, line two: 7 syllables, line three: 5 syllables, line four: 7 syllables, line 5: 7 syllables. Also, punctuation is unnecessary

So, here goes. I’m writing the poem now. Yep, in real time. Almost. It’s… um… spontaneous, I guess.

Plant a sunflower
in an empty patch of ground
near a walking path
where people and their dogs pass
to see nature's gentle joy

My second tanka will be in the first person. This will be more personal. So I think that I will write about the Japanese Gardens behind the Buffalo History Museum, in the form of a tanka.

Snowy white flowers
flutter groundward as I watch
My camera stays still
as I survey bare tree limbs
amongst the blossoming trees

What sort of poem would you like to write?

2 thoughts on “T is for tanka”

  1. Alice, wow! Do we say “tangka” or “tahnka”? Yours are both lovely. The flower drawing– at first I thought I was looking at traditional embroidery. Beautiful!

  2. Very fitting, the poems, themed on flowers and horticulture, given that this week has been about celebrating the earth. Your photo of the pink blossoms is very clear and crisp, and so very pretty. I really like the designs too, the sort of mosaics. As always, your poems are very well written!

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