As I said, I am not a fan of forms, but that does not mean they are unfamiliar to me. I have chosen a few I enjoy to use in my poetry. I hope you will look at the examples in this form and try writing your own. It is always expedient to learn new things. Even should you be someone whose field of expertise lies outside of writing, learning how better to express yourself is beneficial. As creatives, we need to have an attitude open to lifelong learning. Anytime we acquire new knowledge or skills it increases the synapses in our brains, which helps combat illnesses of the mind and memory.
Today, we will work with Tanka. Tanka is another Japanese form, like haiku, only with two additional lines. They gained popularity in the seventh and eighth centuries. They are less concentrated than haiku and can be more casual and conversational. At times they were written to carry messages instead of letters.
The syllabic counts for tanka are like haiku, five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second, five syllables in the third line, and two lines of seven syllables to finish out the poem. You are free to rhyme or not, use imagery if you like, convey a message, or whatever interests you.
Here are a few of mine, written today:
Do you know the weight
Of all the dreams held within
A heart full of love?
A person cannot contain
All desires, but shares freely.
Where can you hide love
In a bottle, closet, chest?
Love cannot be prisoner
It runs eternally free.
Where are you going?
Is there a destination?
Do you have a plan?
If you plot your daily course
You will more likely succeed.
Do not worry much
Over things you cannot control;
Set your heart instead,
On things, you will accomplish,
Relationships you treasure.
Please do not fret over these, they are incredibly easy to write. I believe anyone who approaches poetry with an open mind and makes a game of it can find joy in the practice. If you are a writer, this exercise should prime you for more extensive work. If you are an artist, you might find you would like to incorporate the verse into some other creation. Photographers might find something representative to picture with the tanka. You musicians are likely good at the spoken word and could make a recording.
All of it is up to you. Anything goes. I hope you had fun and I am so glad you visited Haphazard Creative. You can find a follow button to your right and feel free to share your creations in the comments. Take care.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan