“still water…” a #tanka (5/5/20)

Lake Welch, Harriman State Park, NY

still water

before the gentlest caress

of the wind

learning accompaniment

from listening to silence

for dVerse Poets’ Poetics – Solitude (pubtended by Bjorn)

The pub is open! Come join us!

and Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 176, #Poet’sChoice

Categories: haikai, haiku community

Tagged as: , , , ,

35 replies »

  1. You always pack a lot into a tanka, Frank. Your count at 3,7,3,7,7 has the creative form. For me, the piece seems positive and hopeful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is such an awesome poem! However, I’m confused about your syllable count. I thought a tanka was 57577, but you did 37377 if I’m correct. I’m only a novice to tanka, so this isn’t meant as criticism, rather I’m unsure myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries. Many beginners believe the syllable account defines the form. Happens in haiku, too.

      The fact is: 57577 was a convenience of translation. The count refers to Mora, based on ona, a Japanese linguistic unit shorter than the English syllable.

      Many Haikai in English, particularly tanka, tend to use the short-long-short variation, instead. I usually try to contrast two images in my tanka, with the last two lines forming a type of “commentary.”

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the phrase: “listening to silence.” That bit of mindfulness is a lovely reminder. I’ve not seen the 37377 syllable count for Tanka, but why not? My research has taught me that these shorter syllables are closer to true Japanese. Would you use this shorter version in Tanka prose as well?


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