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TANKA TAKE HOME - 17 August, 2022 Featured book: The Ink Dark Moon

hosts: Firdaus Parvez, Kala Ramesh, Priti Aisola & Suraja Menon Roychowdhury

Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!

book of the month: The Ink Dark Moon – Love Poems by Ono no Komachi & Izumi Shikibu



Tomo sure ba / ada naru kaze ni / sazanami no / nabiku chō goto / ware nabike to ya


Like a ripple

that chases the slightest caress

of the breeze—

is that how you want me

to follow you?


— Ono no Komachi


"Legends, folktales, and songs add that Komachi was not only the outstanding woman poet of her time but also the most beautiful and desirable of women. (In the culture of the Heian court, the ability to write poems of great beauty would in itself have been a major cause for being thought both personally attractive and desirable.) Also according to legend, the renowned poet ended her life in anonymity, isolation, and poverty, an ancient, half-mad hag living outside the city walls, though still writing poetry and possessing a deep understanding of Buddhist teachings."

—The Ink Dark Moon - Love poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. Women of ancient Court of Japan.

Translated by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani.


(This book has the English translation of poems by two great Japanese women tanka poets, Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. It also has the original Japanese versions and if you're interested in learning more about tanka, we highly recommend this book.)


Challenge for this week: Komachi has given us yet another visual treat, although it is because of the 'movement' she's captured so well in her poem. We're told to use the five senses of sound, sight, touch, taste, and smell; and we've leaned to do it quite well. This week get movement/motion into your tanka. Let's see where you take this. Most of all have fun! And remember - tanka, because of those two extra lines, lends itself most beautifully when revealing a story. Give these ideas some thought and share your tanka and tanka-prose with us here. Keep your senses open, observe things that happen around you and write. You can post tanka and tanka-prose outside this theme too. An essay on how to write tanka: Tanka Flights PLEASE NOTE 1. Post only one poem at a time. 2. Only 2 tanka and two tanka-prose per poet per prompt. Tanka art of course if you want to. 3. Share your best-polished pieces. 4. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written. Let it simmer for a while. 5. Post your final edited version on top of your original verse. 6. 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 250 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly magazine.


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321 commentaires


mona bedi
mona bedi
23 août 2022

My first attempt at tanka prose. Power Play She was all of sixteen. Standing in the doorway I could see she was nervous. I decided to employ her and explained her the daily chores. Immediately she started with her work. The next day she got up before everyone and started cleaning the house. She finished her work and retired to the servants room. I tiptoed into her room the next day and saw a number of textbooks. She studied late into the night. I asked her about her family. She said her mother was a widow and she had three younger brothers who went to school. She was studying to be a doctor so that she could support her family. “My fat…

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mona bedi
mona bedi
24 août 2022
En réponse à

Thanks 😊

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taking the spring

from a giant’s sway

how tears falter

when held

in ones palm

J'aime



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En réponse à

Thank you Daipayan

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Daipayan  Nair
Daipayan Nair
23 août 2022

Tanka-art (Feedback appreciated)


before

I finish writing my poem

on your leaf

a warbler carries

the mealworm away



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Daipayan  Nair
Daipayan Nair
24 août 2022
En réponse à

Thanks, Suraja!

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
22 août 2022

Revised: thanks all who liked it. (24-8-2022)

.


A dried Tulsi plant still holding on firmly to the soil is this what we call being rooted for years

.


Original:

.

changing the verses a bit, the last L 4 & L 5.( it was, 'is this what we all talk about/ the roots of yesteryears)

.

A dried Tulsi plant

still holding on firmly

to the soil

is this what we call

being rooted for years

.


Feedback

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Priti Aisola
Priti Aisola
24 août 2022
En réponse à

I really like your lines 4 and 5 too, Lakshmi!

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