Blogs by Rebecca Lerwill
The true meaning of Tanka
1/20/2008 12:36:02 PM
on how a poem helped me to make a complete a$$ out of myself.
Just recently I shared a little story with one of my den friends. She thought it was hilarious and since I believe in laughter, I would like to pass this on.
It does mean for me to make a fool out of myself, the joke - after all - is on my side but I don’t mind.
Though I have enjoyed writing poetry for a while, I never really studied the different styles. To be completely honest, I never thought that poetry might come with ‘rules’. I just like to speak in rhymes when there is something special I like to express myself about.
I guess you can call me a light hearted poet.
With that said, I came a cross a poem written by someone who obviously has a lot more knowledge about the styles of poetry, than I do.
I don’t recall the exact name of the title, but it was something like “Remembering – Tanka”
It was a heartfelt write, sad, and it reminded me of someone losing something close, like a person or a pet.
And since the title contained the ‘name’ Tanka and I am blessed with a vivid imagination, I really thought this person had composed a poem about remembering – their dog. (Since Tanka sounded like a nice name for a big dog to me) I was the first to review this poem and left a note offering my condolences for the loss.
Okay, are you done laughing?
Let me just add, that often I return to poems I really enjoy to re-fresh them in my mind and this Tanka poem was one of those. As I scanned the reviews I got a little confused since nobody else seemed to care about a dead dog.
And just a few days ago, I learned the true meaning of ‘Tanka’. Needless to say, I was embarrassed first and then I had a good chuckle about my own ignorance. I guess sometimes we learn (even about poetry) the hard way.
I promise I will be better in the future and do my well-needed studies!
Have a great Sunday!
P.S. In case someone out there is as ignorant as I am:
There are five lines in a Tanka poem:
Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables
Line 4 – 7 syllables
Line 5 – 7 syllables
Tanka poems are written about nature, seasons, love, sadness and other emotions. This form of poetry dates back almost 1200 years.
(explanation copied from www.edu.pe.ca/)
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