PDA

View Full Version : My first Tanka!



kdnxdr
04-17-2006, 08:28 AM
I just tried my first tanka. I don't have a clue if it works. Here goes:


sparkling water flows,
metallic tips and curls gleam;
liquid silver stream,
real, you cannot be a dream,
your blue cool envelops me.

P.H.Delarran
04-17-2006, 11:46 AM
ohh this is neat. i had to look up tanka. in fact, when i saw the title of the thread, i thought you misspelled tonka and that it would be a poem about a child's toy. seriously..ok..maybe i need sleep.
love the imagery. love how brief it is yet still complete. i gotta try one.

Cassie88
04-18-2006, 06:15 AM
I had to look it up, too.

Here are two sites.

Pretty basic:

http://www.americantanka.com/about.html

More info:

http://www.ahapoetry.com/TANKA.htm

kdnxdr
04-18-2006, 06:46 AM
Thank you, Cassie. I am one of "those" that thought poetry was just poetry. I am not very educated. So far, besides attempting to write in free verse, primarily, I have tried to write a few quadrains, haiku and now, tanka. I know there are so many forms of poetry, but I have to start with the simple stuff and maybe, someday, work my way up.

kid

Bret
04-18-2006, 06:49 AM
Is this a genre debut in this forum? Cool!

I tend toward a

short
long
short
long
long

line scheme. much like yours.

I generally make line three shift perspective to something else. (Not that I'm intimating anyone else should)

I have one-


coming out
of a crack in my soul
a three legged dog
snuffles and growls before
it attacks a train's wheels

Cassie88
04-18-2006, 07:00 AM
oh, Bret, that's brilliant. Amazing how you could describe so perfectly how I've been feeling lately. lol

Bret
04-18-2006, 07:16 AM
ha ha! You too? There are wonderful new medications that can help us with these kinds of feelings you know... ;)

trumancoyote
04-18-2006, 07:41 AM
Ooh, I like it!

Arizona's so hot right now; this was refreshing to read.

Cassie88
04-18-2006, 08:53 AM
yes, and I forgot to say, tanka very much.

aspier
04-19-2006, 07:35 PM
I just tried my first tanka. I don't have a clue if it works. Here goes:


sparkling water flows,
metallic tips and curls gleam;
liquid silver stream,
real, you cannot be a dream,
your blue cool envelops me.


I like it ... that cool industrial look, metallic shine. Nice, kid. Wave + wink. Smile.

Cassie88
04-19-2006, 09:00 PM
Aspier, HOW NICE TO SEE YOU!

Bret
04-20-2006, 08:47 AM
my life so far
does it's best to resemble
falling fast asleep
on a boat that slips it's moor
i wake to the strangest sight

Bret
04-20-2006, 08:52 AM
looking like
it bites the road angrily
the dead cat-
wind from a passing car
makes a ripple in the fur

poetinahat
04-20-2006, 09:15 AM
my feet raise dustclouds
as I shuffle the pebbles
up the dirtrut road
the sun crisps my arms maroon
chest pastewhite under t-shirt

kdnxdr
04-20-2006, 03:25 PM
a good change from all those haikus we've been hammering out!

I especially enjoy the first two lines of your poem, I'm sure you've got a great farmer's tan going!

My goal is to at least try once, a piece of every kind of poetry. It might take me awhile, but that's one of my goals.

So far, I've got free poetry, haiku, quadrain, tanka, found poem and historical narrative poem. I might not be great, but I'm determined.

when I'm not procrastinating, tenacity is one of my strong qualities.

kdnxdr
04-20-2006, 03:27 PM
Thank you, everyone, for the reads and crits. Much appreciated!

poetinahat
04-20-2006, 04:13 PM
when I'm not procrastinating, tenacity is one of my strong qualities.
You are my Wonder Twin.

Bret
04-20-2006, 05:30 PM
How ambitious to try every form. You make me feel like a slacker! I'll probably never attempt a sestina! Good for you.

Re: Tanka. I read two fun books. Tangled Hair by Akiko Yosano and Modern Japanese Tanka by Makoto Ueda. If you run across them, take a look.

kdnxdr
04-20-2006, 05:41 PM
Bret,

Thank you for the info. I'll ask my library to get them. That's what so cool about libraries. I don't have alot of money to go buy books. The library will acquire books on request, purchased or lent from another library.

I have alot, but sadly, I'm just starting my poetry collection. I like buying obscure old books from resale stores. I feel like alot of poets/writers who never "made it" have something to say and it's fun flipping through, picking up stuff and mining for gold. I think I'm intriqued by the unknowns, the didn't-quite-make-its. I have some sort of affliation with these writers and they comfort me, they wrote in spite of obscurity and failure.

Bret
04-22-2006, 08:52 PM
Obscurity and failure are a couple of my favorite subjects! I've been researching them for quite sometime...:)

Re: used poetry books. I am swamped by books of poetry I've found second hand. The library sells discards and then there are the garage sales, flea markets and used book stores. A couple of my friends keep an eye out for me too. If they find a book of any kind of poetry for under a buck when they are garage "sailing" they buy it for me.
(Recent score: The Complete Poems of Octavio Paz.)

Wherever I am, I run into these great deals on used poetry. On my rained out trip to Hawaii last month, I found some great haiku and a rare Marge Piercey book in a used store in Kauai. Once you get tuned in, the books are drawn to you as if magnetically.

There are some good deals on Amazon for haiku that are otherwise impossible to find. (Like the Red Moon Anthologies)

kdnxdr
04-22-2006, 11:05 PM
Cool info, Bret. Thank you!

Bret
05-09-2006, 05:20 PM
secretly-
a man fastens a rose on
a witch's gate.
behind a hedge of nettles,
a thick silence expands

Bret
05-21-2006, 02:18 AM
a crow flies
across a sunflower field
in a mad man's mind
a bent and rusty wheel
squeaks around its hub

Bret
07-05-2006, 12:03 AM
repost of the "lost tanka" of June:

In her later years
grandma called me her son's name
and then my own
pine needles drift over
the stepping stones


My pen is as still
as a frog hunting heron peering
into the page
like it thinks another poem
will satisfy the hunger


premonition
the photograph I took
of your shadow proves
a part of you
was never here

Bret
07-06-2006, 02:16 AM
Toy box orgy
tangled hair and long long legs
our daughter's Barbies
stripped of their clothing
and any sense of shame

Bret
07-06-2006, 08:39 AM
Planet Earth--
surely we climbed here
from the stars
hand over
burning hand

Bret
07-07-2006, 05:11 PM
when
your thoughts pour out
as blue as this
I always hold you tighter
my little pen


(with thanks to William Ramsey)

Billytwice
07-08-2006, 02:09 AM
Friday afternoon
And the weekend draws closer
A real POETS day
(I'm gonna P*** Off Early
Tomorrow is Saturday)

Bret
07-08-2006, 03:37 AM
in the car
bearing a DARWIN emblem
rescuers
fail to retrieve
any survivors

Bret
07-12-2006, 03:51 AM
her hair spills over
the bright white tub
as blackly as
everything else does in
the crime scene photo

Bret
07-14-2006, 04:02 AM
Adagio:
choosing to include
these long slow notes
in a poem
about loneliness

Bret
07-16-2006, 02:41 AM
black motorcycle
lean over in the far turn
you mirage
your rusty pipes blat smoke
black motorcycle

Bret
07-16-2006, 02:46 AM
july heat
drops of sweat soak into
the redwood deck
like supernovas
flare and fade

Bret
07-16-2006, 03:54 AM
old friends funeral
a twinge of guilt watching
shadows curve
away from the light
below his widow's breasts

Bret
07-16-2006, 04:10 AM
Camaro SS
your dark black glare
is blinding
on the fresh waxed finish
sunbeams shatter lances

Bret
07-18-2006, 08:11 AM
Monday afternoon
talk turns to a deceased boss
the way his wife looked
18 years ago mowing
their lawn in a bikini



Ok. That's it for the tanka binge. Done!

poetinahat
07-18-2006, 10:49 AM
I kick clods of dirt
across bleached, cracking pavement
watching, in old boots
as they careen and crumble
trailing crumbs in dumb runes

Bret
07-22-2006, 08:02 AM
I said I'd quit inflicting these on you

I lied.



between the pages
of an unmade bed
her nightie
becomes a
bookmark.

P.H.Delarran
07-22-2006, 08:12 AM
I said I'd quit inflicting these on you

I lied.

ohh, but bret, you make it hurt so good.

LimeyDawg
07-22-2006, 05:31 PM
Work is calling me
Get up from the computer
and take a shower
Strange how I must be so clean
To end up feeling so soiled

That was my first. Hah. Nailed the syllables...okay, that's about all I did right. But I'm no longer a Tanka virgin

Bret
07-22-2006, 08:23 PM
atta boy limey! it has that tanka flavor for sure. some great tanka resources here: http://www.ahapoetry.com/tanka.htm

I'm not a 575 haiku guy, my tanka reflects that.


the thin hot wire
that runs through my heart hears
voices from the past

the end from the future
snapped by a falling tree

Bret
07-22-2006, 08:38 PM
underneath
a black motorcycle fender
ground hurtles past
the remainder of your life
is too fleeting to percieve

Bret
07-24-2006, 04:07 AM
If you
drink too much coffee you
can see the tunnels
long ago hummingbirds
built inside the air

Bret
07-24-2006, 04:09 AM
the soft parts of me
try so hard to make a name
my sensible bones
want to lie unnoticed
in an unmarked grave

LimeyDawg
07-24-2006, 09:19 AM
So I write poems
but I can't bench three fifty-
it doesn't matter.
While you have your girlfriend's eye
my soft words caress her heart

poetinahat
07-24-2006, 09:29 AM
an unnamed tree
is completely not the same
as any of
a forest of nameless trees
the sawmill changes that

LimeyDawg
07-24-2006, 09:40 AM
A wooden table
might be made of oak and ash
and maple maybe
but hammer and nail don't care
it's all the same in the end

Rivana
07-24-2006, 02:25 PM
Ooooh. Haven't tried this one before.
Hang on...

***

(Removed by Rivana)

LimeyDawg
07-24-2006, 11:27 PM
Hope I'm not violating some universal Tanka rules here...

For Lorrie

Our future beckons
to us: "Come, come, hand-in-hand,
and I will show you
such wonders as those only
hearts entwined in love can know."

Our present comforts
like a warm hug: "You're safe here
with me, so hold me
close to you and promise me
you will never let me go."

Our pasts wave to us
like old, true friends: "Bon voyage...
think of us fondly
but please let us go, for we
have nothing to offer you."

Bret
07-24-2006, 11:31 PM
No worries. We're subverting the form. ;)

LimeyDawg
07-24-2006, 11:43 PM
Well Bret, as long as we're doing something we shouldn't, count me in.:hat:

Bret
07-26-2006, 05:17 PM
she thought
I was her shining knight
so i advanced
two steps forward
and one to the side

P.H.Delarran
07-26-2006, 11:46 PM
hot air balloon
of paper mache'
sits idle
it's maker left
to chase boys

P.H.Delarran
07-26-2006, 11:53 PM
a snake of dominoes
slithers across cool tile
carefully constructed
with one poke
it falls like shed skin

LimeyDawg
07-27-2006, 12:10 AM
I tap the keyboard
as if the sound could coax forth
the images hiding
in my mind to come out
and paint my empty white canvas

Rivana
07-27-2006, 01:36 AM
(Removed by Rivana)

LimeyDawg
07-27-2006, 01:46 AM
The exotic sights
of the world on distant shores
are surely no match
for the wonders of nature
that surround you in your land

Rivana
07-27-2006, 02:06 AM
(Removed by Rivana)

LimeyDawg
07-27-2006, 03:04 AM
Trees hide the bright moon
and thick limbs cast long shadows
that move around me
as though dark whisps sway and dance
to my tired mind's dark music

poetinahat
07-27-2006, 06:52 AM
pad to the board-end
scan the poolside: are they watching?
two, three cautious bounces
gaze past glare into the blue
jump... second thought! smack flat back; burn.

Rivana
07-27-2006, 12:02 PM
(Removed by Rivana)

Bret
08-02-2006, 02:34 AM
pretending
not to see
an old love
pretending
not to see me

Bret
08-02-2006, 02:36 AM
nothing
between us now but
windblown litter
though that red haired woman
once told me I was beautiful

Bret
08-02-2006, 10:59 PM
pale yellow---
underneath the dome light
an adulterer
pecks through his spare change
looking for his wedding ring

Bret
08-03-2006, 02:20 AM
possibly
there are abandoned cities
carved of jade
waiting to be discovered
on the moon's dark side

Bret
08-04-2006, 02:51 AM
ocean winds twist
the limbs of Monterey Cypress
these tangled thoughts---
will even a calm day
let me sort them out?

Bret
08-10-2006, 07:34 AM
for the one
who dies in a car crash
a stop light
in a distant city
turns dark

Bret
08-12-2006, 02:28 AM
Dusk comes first
on skinny black scarecrow legs
"Prepare ye the way!"
for Night he means- sowing
black manna over the fields

Bret
08-12-2006, 07:38 PM
rusty lace girders blur
bridgeplate seams hum thump bump
pipes blat snarl bite
chrome steel mirror rivets run
motorbike black shine night ride

Bret
09-22-2006, 11:36 PM
Stripped of my dreams
by the howl of midnight wind
when I wake alone
surely dawn will reveal
a cold bare branch

Bret
09-23-2006, 07:59 PM
A rose emerges
From a cracked stone wall
Will there be a time
When your cold heart
Gives way to spring?

P.H.Delarran
09-23-2006, 08:29 PM
Bret these tanka are just breathtaking.

Bret
09-23-2006, 08:55 PM
Thanks PH! :)

I've been reading "The Ink Dark Moon." Tanka by two of Japan's great women poets. Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. I found it inspiring.


http://www.amazon.com/Ink-Dark-Moon-Vintage-Classics/dp/0679729585



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly:
Matters of the heart and spirit and the transient nature of time and existence are the dominant themes of this collection of love poems by two leading female literary figures of Japan's Heian era--Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu.

Book Description:
These translated poems were written by 2 ladies of the Heian court of Japan between the ninth and eleventh centuries A.D. The poems speak intimately of their authors' sexual longing, fulfillment and disillusionment.

Here's one by Ono no Komachi-

When my desire
grows too fierce
I wear my bed clothes
inside out
dark as night's rough husk

and one by Izumi Shikibu-

Undisturbed,
my garden fills
with summer growth-
how I wish for one
who would push the deep grass aside.

I find both of these rated at least PG. ;) Though raciest short poem award still goes to Tzu Yeh-

Longing, I watch out the open window,
my sash untied, long sleeves dragging.

This breeze lifts gauze so easily,
if my skirt should open, blame the warm spring wind.

Ganesha
09-24-2006, 04:44 AM
wow, wow wow, these are beautiful.
I am hooked on this style but am stumped on how to find my voice.
Bret, you are so brilliant.
my best to you
G.

Bret
09-24-2006, 06:56 AM
Outside of this thread, (even in this thread there may be some debate;) ) few would dare use "Bret" and "brilliant" in the same sentence but I humbly recieve your gracious bouquet.

Some people start writing them by taking a haiku they have written and expanding it with a couple more lines that use the haiku as a jumping off point. Here's a good how to link

http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/form/tanka.htm

and as always, a good way to start is to have a few hundred good examples.

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Japanese-Tanka-Makoto-Ueda/dp/0231104332

http://www.amazon.ca/Long-Rainy-Season-Haiku-Tanka/dp/1880656159

http://www.ahapoetry.com/hut1book.htm

here's a bunch of free online tanka anthology stuff.http://www.ahapoetry.com/whbktan.htm

Its kind of a difficult form for western readers because it seems "backwards" and the shift between points of view is hard for some readers to wrap their linear heads around. Check out this "how to"

http://www.ahapoetry.com/tanka.htm

experiment with "adding on a room" to a few of your favorite haiku. You'll get the hang of it.

Godfather
09-24-2006, 12:55 PM
look at me
i can see right through you
look at me
i know you, i know you
i know how to make you smile, cry

Bret
09-26-2006, 11:41 PM
in the treeless crags
a crevice here and there
still holds old snow-
after all of this time
can you not forgive me?

Bret
09-26-2006, 11:44 PM
press your pen
deep into the paper
who will read it?
this faint dim scratch
high on the wall of time

Bret
09-27-2006, 02:45 AM
receding
a face in the window moves
back from the light
how will we reconcile
what we will not behold?

Bret
09-29-2006, 07:41 AM
starless-
this preachy crow struts
across the barren yard
as black as a bible his
murder of petty sins

kdnxdr
10-08-2006, 06:06 AM
time slips off bared souls
satin as the shroud that hides
imprisoned lovers
pressed between two walls in dark
fearful of a deadly fate
brazen in their lust for love

kdnxdr
10-08-2006, 06:12 AM
orange streaks yellow sky
silloute memorials
testify to day
another image gone black
as memory turns the page

kdnxdr
10-08-2006, 06:18 AM
let us count the ways
love escaped comprehension
fled our grasp and hid
innumerable seconds lost
irretrievable, we cry

Bret
11-16-2006, 06:07 PM
dust and leaves
blow through the door with me
late in the season
even autumn wants to
come in from the cold

Bret
11-22-2006, 06:16 PM
Picture Frame

these words
hammered into the page
as if it were possible
to nail a moment to the wall
and gaze at it forever



Constellation

you were constant
and steady as the heavens
strange i should miss you
in this morning's darkness
the stars fall one by one


Dappled Light


birdsong in the glen
where she used walk
from sunbeam to sunbeam
but at last
into shadow

Bret
11-24-2006, 02:26 AM
dew drops sparkle
like palace wealth
it disappears
no one can hoard these jewels
come with me, be rich this hour

Jayne
12-08-2006, 06:24 AM
underneath steel skies
oaks and brown winter grasses
whisper shy wishes
to fly, yet are attached to
this earth, roots ever sinking.

wyzguy
12-08-2006, 09:40 AM
sometimes you surprise
like making love in the park
i think i know you
but your eyes show me nothing
except clues that lead me on

Jayne
01-05-2007, 05:45 AM
dawning awareness
breaks like shattered bullets lodged
subtly for long years
until a carefree jump in
cool water. shrapnel kills quick.