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TANKA TAKE HOME - 24 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



Hito no mi mo / koi niwa kaetsu / natsumushi no / arawa ni moyu to / mienu bakari zo


No different, really—

a summer moth’s

visible burning

and this body,

transformed by love.


— Izumi Shikibu


"A good deal more has been recorded about the life of Izumi Shikibu, who came to the Heian court at the height of its greatness to serve a former empress. Born around 974, she too was the daughter of a lord…

…When she was thirty-six Shikibu married for the second time and accompanied her new husband to his post in the provinces. She never returned to court life and is thought to have died at the age of sixty. Her reputation as a poet grew steadily after her death, and Shikibu is now recognized as the outstanding woman poet of Japanese literature."

—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:

It's difficult to pick out only one tanka of Shikibu; I liked this one because it talks about change/transformation/metamorphosis. What a beauty! Tell us about any change you've experienced or, just be inspired by the words. Write your poems loosely around the theme. 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.

865 views343 comments

343 Comments


Revision


shadows

behind me as I face

the setting sun

all that I have

and haven't done


Original


shadows

behind me as I face

the setting sun...

all I have done

and didn’t do

Like
Replying to

posted the revision - thanks!

Like

one by one

turn into the stars

fireflies

leading my way

back home


(feedback appreciated)

Like
Replying to

I am not sure what you mean by line 2 - otherwise this is beautiful, and fireflies is a great pivot line: Is it:


one by one

they turn into stars

fireflies

leading my way

back home

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Mallika Chari
Mallika Chari
Aug 29, 2022

Revised after reading Kenneth' s suggestion

Revised one:


birds circle around

the chopped-down branches

in new places

the fallen seeds

take their roots


Original version:


branches chopped down

birds circle around

in new places

the fallen seeds

take their roots

Like
Mallika Chari
Mallika Chari
Aug 31, 2022
Replying to

Thank you, Lakshmi for your feedback.

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Bonnie J Scherer
Bonnie J Scherer
Aug 29, 2022

Final version incorporating some suggestions made by Kenneth Slaughter. With gratitude…


trumpets sound

across the sky

this fall morning

my snowbird friends

bid farewell


Note: In North America “snowbird” refers to a northerner who migrates/moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.

My own proposed revision attempting to tighten the tanka (with appreciation to Kala). Again, feedback welcome!

trumpets sounding

across the sky this fall day —

my snowbird friends

bid farewell

with one last party Original:


fall rhapsody

I crane my neck skyward

and spot a siege …

regretting that I don’t play

a wind instrument

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Replying to

very nice!!!

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Rupa Anand
Rupa Anand
Aug 29, 2022

Revised 1.


at Noida

a demolition

clouds bring

the fresh rain

of justice well served


( Ref: Two 40 storey illegal structures at Noida, razed to the ground via explosives, by order of the Supreme Court of India.)

feedback is good

———————

Original

wonderful news

delivered

by the demolition

at Noida . . .

the clouds bring

fresh rain


feedback appreciated

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Priti Aisola
Priti Aisola
Aug 30, 2022
Replying to

Hello Rupa, thank you for the clarification with reference to the preposition usage.


However, I still feel that one can convey the same meaning that is present in L 5 without sounding 'severe'.


A suggestion only, for you to consider or discard:

(May not be an apt suggestion at all.)


illegal structures

razed to the ground

in Noida ...

out of nowhere clouds gather

bringing fresh rain

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