[FGC#7] Tanka

This week’s Form and Genre Challenge is to write a tanka (Traditional Japanese poem of five lines with a pivotal middle line connecting two separate images, embedded traditionally in love and nature).

Neck deep in pre-release publicity for Post Marked: Piper’s Point, this poem comes inspired by Ella-Louise and Jude. Just who is writing it… well, I shall leave that to your musings.

above blackened rocks
in eddies of brine
sea-born lovers appear
salty lips welcome
a future almost lost

7 thoughts on “[FGC#7] Tanka

  1. Pingback: Form and Genre Challenge #7 Submission | Write Anything

  2. Talk about setting a scene and story! Your word choice is stellar here – each carries such weight and image: “salty lips welcome” being my personal favorite. I don’t know of Piper’s Point, but what this little image brings to be is intriguing!!

    Quick comment on the tanka form – Are the 3rd and 5th lines six syllables? Should that be seven? Or is seven syllables more of a “guide” than a “rule”?



    • Thank you so much Barbara. This made my morning, to wake up and read your comments. This poem ran me over hill and dale trying to capture it, so I’m glad it evokes so much for you.

      Like haiku, tanka is Japanese and Japanese language has more syllables per word than English does… so the strict 5/5/7/5/7 rule can actually bloat a poem which is intended to be spare in its word usage. So English poems using the form don’t necessarily abide by the strict syllable rules, but rather employ the line and sentence structure. Yay – for knowing poets who know stuff (because I was clueless to all of this until November last year when my friend Tiggy – who is my co-judge this week – introduced me to haiku as a panacea for my dying creativity.)

      Here’s a little run down on Piper’s Reach project I’m doing with Adam. https://jodicleghorn.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/the-secret-project-unveiled/.


  3. As usual beautifully done. You evoked such splendid imagery, so that I was left wondering who or what lovers you might be speaking of.


  4. As much as I hate to jump on bandwagons, I’m joining the ‘Salty lips welcome’ fan club. It just says so much! This is a lovely poem and conveys a lot of scene in just a few words. Well done. πŸ™‚


  5. Pingback: “Tanka” by Sonia Sanchez « The Nightly Poem

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