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Forums > > GotDiscussion? > > Poetry Writing Tips > > Write a Tanka
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Write a Tanka


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Deleted_User_1194
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 5 0:27:58 EST 2006    Post subject: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

A tanka is a Japanese syllabic form, composed of 5 lines and arranged into a tercet (3 line stanza), followed by a break and then the final couplet. Here is what it would look like, note the syllable count in each line:

line syllables

1. xxxxx (5)
2. xxxxxxx (7)
3. xxxxx (5)

4. xxxxxxx (7)
5. xxxxxxx (7)

If you like the form you can keep going, repeating it. This is called a linked tanka.

If you were creating a linked tanka by exchanging the poem/adding tankas with a fellow poet, this would be called a renga--very fun! A fun collaboration, try it!.

A helpful writing tip: select a book or other printed matter at random from your surroundings. Steal language from it (a word, phrase)--or merely respond to it.
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hotstuff
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 5 12:04:25 EST 2006    Post subject: Re: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

I am a mirror
How I reflect you is based
on how you treat me.

So make sure you treat me well
Otherwise you won’t look well.

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flyruga87
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16 20:53:01 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

Eating the right foods
Leads to being healthy and fit
Eating the wrong foods leads

To a unhealthy and unfit
body so eat the right foods
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flyruga87
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16 20:53:38 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

Eating the right foods
Leads to being healthy and fit
Eating the wrong foods leads

To a unhealthy and unfit
body so eat the right foods
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26 19:23:10 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

This is my favorite japanese form. It allows for a bit more depth than the other.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 7 1:03:36 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

I haven't encountered this form before. Are there any other criteria apart from syllable count? E.g. subject matter, immediacy of imagery as with haiku? (I note that the first 3 lines could amount to a haiku).

Anyway, here's an attempt:

stepping through hot sand
I follow in your footsteps
keeping our rhythm

it's not because I love you -
but your footsteps are charming...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 7 10:44:33 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Write a Tanka Reply with quote

sharp and broken words
bleed, to gush out as poem
-talus of my heart

crashing at the shore, in vain
attempt to knock at your heart

"Talus" - I had to look it up... a new word for my vocab! Good work, Deepali.

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