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TANKA TAKE HOME: 5th June 2024 - Sue Colpitts - poet of the month

Updated: 4 days ago

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

 

Introducing a new perspective to our Wednesday Feature!

 

June 5th, 2024

 

poet of the month: Sue Colpitts


Biography: Sue came late to writing poetry.  While surfing the web, she read some haiku poetry, dabbled in it and became hooked.  Later she discovered tanka on the All Poetry site (allpoetry.com) and took its tanka courses online.  The instructors and fellow poets continue to offer helpful feedback and guidance. She finds inspiration in the poetry from Inuit songs to the Hyakunin Isshu to the poems by contemporary Canadian poets, and from nature.  Her favourite tanka poets include Ono No Komachi and Michael Mclintock.  After reading a great poem like one written by an’ya, she tries different themes and ways to write a tanka.  She feels that experimenting with the form keeps her writing fresh and challenging, and needs to be emotionally inspired to write poetry.  


TTH: How did you get started as a poet? What was it about tanka that inspired you to embrace this ancient form of poetry? In short, why do you keep writing tanka ? 


SC: I came late to writing poetry.  During retirement while surfing the web, I read some haiku poetry.  I dabbled in it and became hooked. I discovered tanka on the All Poetry site.  The lyrical, song-like beauty and courtly style of the ancient Japanese tanka captivated me. Tanka provides an outlet for me to write about emotions and relationships that I can’t always fully express in haiku.

 


after

the closing of wings

silence

I cannot speak of it

how you fell before me

-ephemerae

 


sky and water 

merging with the cry 

of an osprey 

and if not from here… 

where will my joy come 

- Cattails


We are deeply grateful to Sue Colpitts for sharing her beautiful poems with us.

 


Some thoughts on Sue's tanka:

 

Both these tanka are steeped in nature, filled with an empathy and joy for all beings. When I read the first tanka the top three lines reminded me of Issa. The poet appears speaking of the death of a being with wings- perhaps a bird, perhaps an insect. And then the sudden turn and pathos in those last 2 lines -


I cannot speak of it

how you fell before me


Who is she referring to? The first 3 lines now take on a new significance. There is so much dreaming space within this tanka for the reader to fill in...


The second tanka, on the contrary, is filled with joy- the joy that is waiting for to be experienced everywhere in nature.



Prompt for this week: Write of an instance where nature inspired or affected you.


Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It really helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!

 

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And remember – tanka, because of those two extra lines, lends itself most beautifully when revealing a story. And tanka prose is storytelling.

 

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 these themes too.

 

An essay on how to write tanka: Tanka Flights here



PLEASE NOTE

 

1. Post only one poem at a time, only one per day.

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.

 

Please check out the LEARNING Archives.


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Rupa Anand
Rupa Anand
2 days ago

Tanka 2 - 13/06/24


it comes, perhaps

to enquire after me

this six-legged spider

clinging to life in the

wash basin sink


Rupa Anand, New Delhi, India

Feedback welcome

Me gusta

Susan Furst
Susan Furst
4 days ago

#1

whirligigs

and trumpet lilies

in my garden

I sit, waiting for the children

who never come


Susan Beth Furst, USA

Feedback welcome


Me gusta
Susan Furst
Susan Furst
3 days ago
Contestando a

Thank you, Suraja💛

Me gusta

Sumitra  Kumar
Sumitra Kumar
4 days ago

#2. 11/6/24


how you tunnelled

into a haystack, haha

grandpa recounts

my first driving lessons

with humour and a hug


Sumitra Kumar

India

Feedback welcome


Me gusta
Sumitra  Kumar
Sumitra Kumar
3 days ago
Contestando a

And the best part was he was sitting beside teaching me. We were safe and he was cool, not angry.

Me gusta

Kalyani
Kalyani
4 days ago

11.06.2024

#1


Revision. Thank you, Kanji Dev.


stillness at dusk

as if the air paused

for infinity

why this iceberg between us

so stiff and unmoving?


Kalyanee Arandhara

Assam, India


Feedback most welcome


Original:


stillness at dusk

as if the air paused

for infinity

why is this iceberg between us

looks stiff and unmoving?


Kalyanee Arandhara

Assam, India


Feedback most welcome

Me gusta
Kalyani
Kalyani
3 days ago
Contestando a

Thank you so much, Kanji. I've revised according to your suggestion. Now I see that the last two lines of the original version was grammatically wrong too. Oh God! Thanks once again.

Me gusta

#2


resisting disease

the corkscrew willow

grows quickly …

too soon our youthful figures

give way to twisted bark


Bonnie J Scherer, USA

Feedback welcome 🙂

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Contestando a

Thank you dear poet! 🙂

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