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TANKA TAKE HOME - 11 May, 2022 | poet of the month - Jenny Ward Angyal

Updated: May 12, 2022


hosts: Firdaus Parvez, Kala Ramesh, Priti Aisola & Suraja Menon Roychowdhury Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!

poet of the month: Jenny Ward Angyal



plague-year parsnips

browned in butter—

the flavor

of my mother’s victory garden

in another sort of war


~First Place, Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest 2020


Jenny has been a very close friend of mine for the last several years. She is an exceptional poet, mentor and editor. We'll be showcasing and focusing on her tanka this month and I'm sure we'll learn a lot if we study the way she uses words and images to craft her poems.



We had the pleasure of asking Jenny a few questions, and she graciously took the time to answer them. Here is the third:


3.

TTH: How do you develop a tanka? Please guide us through the stages of a poem.


There are no fixed stages! A poem may begin from within--as memory, thought or feeling—or from without--when something catches my eye and sparks my interest. Either way, I have to be paying attention or I will miss the moment. It helps to consciously slip into a state of peaceful, alert awareness that I think of as ‘tanka mind.’


the cry

of a kingfisher—

I seize

from the blue lake of morning

this nameless bounty


~ from ‘Flight Feathers

Ribbons 10:1, Winter 2014


If the impulse arises from within, I search the outer landscape for images to give it voice. If it comes from without, I muse on why this object or event seems significant--how does it connect to my inner landscape?


Sometimes the right words arrive like a gift, but usually, it takes many days to shape a poem from the initial thought, impulse or idea. Often, I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say until I find the right shape for the poem. I constantly ask myself ‘What’s the point? Why do I want to write about this?’ I search for clarity and simplicity, layers of meaning and metaphor, shapeliness and music.


When I get stuck, it helps to get up and do something else. Tanka are brief enough that I can compose them in my head while I go about the rest of my life. A brisk walk outdoors in nature will often set the words flowing. I record ideas on my phone as I walk, so I don’t forget them before I can return to my computer.


I often ponder a poem I’m working on just before I go to sleep and let my subconscious mind have a go at it. I may wake in the middle of the night with words, images & ideas demanding to be written down before I lose them. In the very early morning, adrift between sleeping and waking, I can often tap into the subconscious mind, letting words arise uncensored.


nursing

a baby not my own

in a dream

she signs to me

the words of a poem


~ from ‘Flight Feathers

Ribbons 10:1, Winter 2014


After days of tinkering, when the poem finally feels ‘just right’ to me, I almost always share it with an online workshopping forum for feedback. The poem may receive a final lick of polish . . . or I may discover that it doesn’t say what I thought it did--which is well worth knowing! Then, it’s back to the drawing board . . .



More about Jenny:


Jenny Ward Angyal spent her childhood wandering the woods and fields of rural Connecticut, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. She spent a number of years studying and writing about biology, and many more teaching nonverbal children how to communicate.


She now lives with her husband and one Abyssinian cat on a small organic farm in central North Carolina. She has two sons and three grandchildren. She composed her first poem at the age of five and has written tanka since 2008. Her tanka (and occasionally haiku) have appeared widely in journals and anthologies. She is the author of two tanka collections, Moonlight on Water and Only the Dance, and co-author of Beetles & Stars: Tanka Triptychs. She co-edited the Tanka Society of America’s 2016 Members’ Anthology, Ripples in the Sand, and served for over five years as Reviews and Features Editor of Skylark: A Tanka Journal. She currently serves as Tanka Editor of Under the Bashō and Global Moderator of Inkstone Poetry Forum.


....

Are you inspired?

Challenge for this week: Get your lower verse to be meaningful and poignant. You could use 'WAR' as your overall theme. PLEASE NOTE: 1. Only two tanka and two tanka-prose per poet per prompt. Tanka art of course if you want to. 2. Share your best-polished pieces. 3. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written. Let it simmer for a while. 4. Post your final edited version on top of your original verse. 5. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.

We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished tanka and tanka-prose (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly magazine.

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333 opmerkingen


Daipayan  Nair
Daipayan Nair
18 mei 2022

panic


It has been raining here, continuously, in North East India, for the last few weeks. It has aroused a lost petrichor for sure. I can hear the bullfrog croak after long and the male crickets calling for the female mates and I too sort of join in, humming songs I have long forgotten. The monsoon wriggles its way in like an earthworm slipping through the corners every now and then, the playground I have quite forgotten. The water level of The Barak has begun to rise and with the switch gates now being closed, I witness a shoal of tiny Indian carplets swim across my lawn, sparrows, starlings and waterhens flock in my pine tree, and it makes me…


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Daipayan  Nair
Daipayan Nair
18 mei 2022
Reageren op

Thanks, Mona. I am looking into as to what can be worked around the prose. I was deciding for an alternate title to the prose but went forward with Panic as it keeps the subtlety intact...Still open to changes if required

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at the seaside

Punch and Judy in full swing

we join the crowd

to cheer Judy shouting

that’s the way to do it


feedback welcome.


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Reageren op

Enjoy your journey Firdaus. It’s a great journey to be on.

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
17 mei 2022

Revised : Thanks a lot to Kala for the great help, to Firdaus and to Priti for the wonderful comments. If the title needs a change, please let me know. (18-5-2022) Will 'Silence' read a good title?

.

Fear


I vaguely remember the nights of the Indo-Pak war in 1971. We were in Gujarat then and the security in our neighbourhoods was tightened. The windows were fully covered with dark brown paper so that light wouldn't escape. The medicinal supplies were home delivered. The postal department had closed. We couldn't go to school or go out to play. The sirens in the middle of the night were haunting. There were no television or cell phones. The radio news was all…


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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
18 mei 2022
Reageren op

and patchworks doesn't work because it clashes with cross stitches

Fear is better

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mona bedi
mona bedi
16 mei 2022

Hi, we got to post two tanka per prompt??

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mona bedi
mona bedi
17 mei 2022
Reageren op

Thanks 😊

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Priya Narayanan
Priya Narayanan
16 mei 2022

front page

of newspapers...

how quickly

the stock exchange

replaced the war

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Priti Aisola
Priti Aisola
17 mei 2022
Reageren op

Well done! How commerce takes centre stage quickly and how the focus shifts from the grim reality of war to 'the stock exchange' has been brought out well by you, Priya.

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