Examples of Tanka


Would you like to read beautiful examples of tanka? No other poetry has endured quite like tanka, the grandmother of haiku.



Tanka: The Grandmother of Haiku

There are different methods of writing tanka in English, but the most common form is writing five lines consisting of 5-7-5-7-7 English syllables. This is also considered to be the most traditional form of tanka.

One example of tanka is a poem written by Gerard John Conforti, of New York City. In his book, Now That the Night Ends (1996), he never varies from this pattern:

This cold winter night
the snow clings to the tree boughs
in the pale moonlight
the kisses of your soft lips
warm this aching heart of mine

Since the history of Japanese tanka is so long -- thirteen hundred years -- and the rules have changed so much, there are a variety of styles which allow the poet to experiment but still remain within the realm of tanka.

An example of more experimental tanka is a poem by Sanford Goldstein, now living in Japan, published in the English tanka anthology, Wind Five Folded (1994). It contains his sequence "Buddha: a tanka string" which begins with,

Buddha,
pour me a cup of poetry
from your warm mouth
this empty
night

Some of my favorite examples of tanka were written by my friend, Wingpoem:

In the quiet time
in the space between your breaths
I remember you
and when your heart is heavy
remember you are in mine


Darling you move me
Like the moon moves the ocean
Like wind making waves
In all her beauty, the moon
holds not a candle to you


When all this armor
has finished its shattering
the naked presence
the deep unguarded being
is the most precious of gifts



Related Posts

* Examples of Haiku Poetry

* Best of Wingpoem Love Poetry

* Exquisite Poems about Love



(From Examples of Tanka back to Love Haiku) (From Examples of Tanka back to Healing Love Notes Home Page)

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