#Haikai Poetry Alert: MTB: 5-Line Japanese Poetic Forms

Come join me over at dVerse Poets Pub, where I’m pubtending tonight for MTB. We’re writing 5-line #haikai!


Stock Photo: Takebayashi of Kyoto

Welcome to DVerse, Poets! I am Frank Tassone, your host for today’s Meet the Bar, where we delve into poetic craft.

This month is National Tanka Month, or #NaTankaMo. In honor of this celebration of tanka, I would like to focus on three of the 5-line Japanese forms: tanka, kyoka and gogyohka.

Tanka enjoys a long history in Japan. Originally known as waka (short song), the 5-line verse poem was the medium of literary exchange during the Heian era, the golden age of ancient Japanese culture. Courtiers and emperors alike composed them. Lovers would often share their devotion through the exchange of them.

Ceremony of the Utakai Hajime, about 1950. Wikipedia

Like its cousin, haiku, tanka consist of concrete images and similar line structuring. Unlike haiku, it is “infused with a lyric intensity and intimacy that comes from the direct expression of emotions, as well…

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