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goldenlangur

gibbous March moon (tanka prose)

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goldenlangur

Threading through the pines a gibbous March moon. Overhead, still a glint of winter in Capella's yellow glow. I track Orion and the red haze of Mars. Soon it will be dawn of your birthday. I am numb and cold.

 

if only

you could understand

this silence

not that I don't think of you

but that I have no words


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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waxwings

Very nice, golden. This pensive poem could be more imaginatively consistent, if the first part were broken into lines. It is very much, at least mood-wise, like a tanka, and it is echoed by the second part. Tanka, esp. when written in English, is free verse. Tagging on the burden of having it a prose poem as well cannot make it any better than it is already. And you will have a more unified, darling poem with two tanka-type stanzas.

Edited by waxwings

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goldenlangur

Hello waxwing,

 

Thank you for reading this tanka prose.

 

Tanka, esp. when written in English, is free verse. Tagging on the burden of having it a prose poem as well cannot make it any better than it is already.

 

I agree that tanka in English is quite like free verse and that a tanka sequence is popular. The tanka prose which I am attempting here is older than the haiku prose, also known as the haibun. An example of the tanka prose is the Tale of the Genji, a work of some 2000 pages written around the Heian Period (794 - 1185 - the scholars still debate its actual date).

 

The haibun, tanka prose and the Western Prose Poem as a hybrid of poetry and prose might seem disconcerting and this I can appreciate.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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tonyv

Goldenlangur,

 

I love this tanka prose with its picturesque night skyscape! For me, the "glint of winter," together with I am numb and cold, administers a dose of desolation. Add in silence and a loss of words, and the sum is a recipe for despair ... exactly to my taste.

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Aleksandra

Hello Goldenlangur. This is amazing prose tanka. I think I am familiar with this tanka, you posted if I remember correctly but only the tanka and now attached to the rest and here we have something brilliant.

 

I loved this line because of the sentiment, and its originality: Soon it will be dawn of your birthday. I am numb and cold.

 

And of course:

 

if only

you could understand

this silence

not that I don't think of you

but that I have no words

 

I am impressed gl. You always have what to give to the readers.

 

Aleksandra


The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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waxwings
Hello waxwing,

 

Thank you for reading this tanka prose.

 

Tanka, esp. when written in English, is free verse. Tagging on the burden of having it a prose poem as well cannot make it any better than it is already.

 

I agree that tanka in English is quite like free verse and that a tanka sequence is popular. The tanka prose which I am attempting here is older than the haiku prose, also known as the haibun. An example of the tanka prose is the Tale of the Genji, a work of some 2000 pages written around the Heian Period (794 - 1185 - the scholars still debate its actual date).

 

The haibun, tanka prose and the Western Prose Poem as a hybrid of poetry and prose might seem disconcerting and this I can appreciate.

 

Thanks for the details, golden. It made me stir my fat behind and do some research. Anyhing touching on Waka is complex, mostly because there is a humongous lot written about it.

 

I still feel that a good poem, like this one, needs no further props. To the best of my knowledge of formalism tanka prose is essentially a blend of verse and prose. I do not buy prose as something away from or in opposition to poetry, because what we put on paper is not poetry but poems, and poems are written in either prose or verse.

 

That is a rather fancy an elaboration of why in such discussion I find it important to distinguish between poetry and verse, a stand not everyone may agree on, but my take is that what you hold as the prose part is written too much like verse, meaning that as wonderful your poem is as an exemplar of poetics, it does not have, for me, a prose part.

 

I consider writing as an art in its own right. You obviously have thar talent. I wish I had more time to dig in the archives for allyour poems posted here. Unfortunately member poets here were posting way before I got to this forum. Consequently, I may lack the complete insight of you as a poet and beg you to take my comments with a grain of salt, until I get to know you better.

Edited by waxwings

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony,

 

I hoped that I might be able to convey something along the lines that although the night sky might enchant there's despair. It is gratifying that the desolation came across for you.

 

 

Thank you.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hello Aleksandra,

 

Aleksandra[/b]

 

What an incredible memory! I did post the tanka sometime ago but wasn't so sure about the prose part of it to post then. I confess that I have quite a few of these tanka prose pieces with which I have been tinkering.

 

 

 

I loved this line because of the sentiment, and its originality: Soon it will be dawn of your birthday. I am numb and cold.

 

This is very encouraging :)

 

 

Thank you for your generous comment.

Edited by goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi again Waxwings,

 

Anyhing touching on Waka is complex, mostly because there is a humongous lot written about it.

 

Very true indeed. We have 1300 years of its history and popularity to read through if only we had the time ....

 

... my take is that what you hold as the prose part is written too much like verse, meaning that as wonderful your poem is as an exemplar of poetics, it does not have, for me, a prose part.

 

 

A good point. I think how the prose in a tanka or haibun is written depends very much on the kind of tanka prose or haibun one is attempting. The night sky here allows for some lyrical details but if one were writing about the motorway/highway then perhaps the prose details would be more mundane. tanka prose writers use a whole range of themes - journals (snippets of travel), diary ( accounts of daily life or a specific event -visit to an oncology clinic, etc) The prose in each of these vary.

 

This is what I find liberating - that pushing of boundaries in how we use prose and poetry.

 

Charles Simic called the prose poem a literary hybrid ( and I include tanka prose and haibun here) which combines poetical devices in its prose and in a sense this is what allows a freeing of definition-criteria.

 

I consider writing as an art in its own right.

 

Very well put and art is about pushing boundaries while still engaging with the creative gene pool of tradition.

 

You obviously have thar talent. I wish I had more time to dig in the archives for allyour poems posted here. Unfortunately member poets here were posting way before I got to this forum. Consequently, I may lack the complete insight of you as a poet and beg you to take my comments with a grain of salt, until I get to know you better.

 

I appreciate your taking the trouble to raise critical questions which I find thoroughly stimulating. However, I do regret that despite the terrific facility in this forum (The archive of members' work) I have not had the time to do much about my own writing here.

 

Thank you for returning.

 

With appreciation.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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badger11

Interesting contrast in forms gl: the colours of the opening dissolving into the starkness of the tanka with the realisation of emptiness and distance from the night's beauty.

 

badge

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goldenlangur

Thank you badge for your thoughts:

 

Interesting contrast in forms gl: the colours of the opening dissolving into the starkness of the tanka

 

badge

 

I'm glad that the contrasts in colours caught your eyes.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Tinker

Hi gl, I would call this verse form a Haibun...You have simply substituted a tanka for a haiku. But the concept is the same and the effect is the same.

 

I love it. I love the prose, I love the tanka, I love the connection yet separation of the content in the two genres. This is beautifully written.

 

I love the whole thing, :rolleyes: all accept the word "gibbous" :unsure: In my opinion, the sound of the word, (if I am pronouncing it right) does nothing for the sonics of the piece and it will have half your readers looking it up. (I had to.) It sounds tinny when the words all around it are full and rich sounding. How about "buldging" which was one of the definitions given.... At least it is a round and full.

 

OK, I am now back to I loved it with or without gibbous. ;)

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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goldenlangur

Hi Tink,

 

Lovely to see you around :)

 

 

Hi gl, I would call this verse form a Haibun...You have simply substituted a tanka for a haiku. But the concept is the same and the effect is the same.

 

You have a good point about the similarities of haibun and tanka prose. Here are some links for haibun and tanka prose:

 

http://haibuntoday.blogspot.com/2008/09/ed...ibun-today.html

 

http://www.themetpress.com/modernhaibunandtankaprose/

 

http://www.themetpress.com/modernhaibunand...e/masthead.html

 

tanka prose is relatively new in the west but has a long tradition in Japan. The Tale of the Genji written in the Heian period (794-1185) is a novel with waka/tanka verses.

 

 

 

 

I love the whole thing, :rolleyes: all accept the word "gibbous" :unsure: In my opinion, the sound of the word, (if I am pronouncing it right) does nothing for the sonics of the piece and it will have half your readers looking it up. (I had to.) It sounds tinny when the words all around it are full and rich sounding. How about "buldging" which was one of the definitions given.... At least it is a round and full.

 

Yes, bulging sounds wonderfully sensuous. However, it would mean a waxing moon, whereas gibbous alludes to both phases of the moon - waxing and waning. As you know, every word in a haiku and tanka counts. I wanted to have some allusion to the lunar calendar of our local Oracular tradition and also hoped that the waxiing/waning would also allude to the way relationships wax and wan.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughtful comment and suggestion. :D

Edited by goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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waxwings

Excellent. The first sentence lacks a verb which is not wrong but to conform to the idea of prose I'd put a comma after pines to make sure the reader sees you mean "moon threading (a gerund) is through the pines", i.e. a deliberate inversion of standard syntax for poetic purpose. Be assured it works for me, esp. since it sounds Japanese even if it is pure English w/o supporting punctuation, but would it for all? And the lack of a "the" before "dawn" makes it sound a wee bit awkward to me.

 

Threading through the pines a gibbous March moon. Overhead, still a glint of winter in Capella's yellow glow. I track Orion and the red haze of Mars. Soon it will be dawn of your birthday. I am numb and cold.

 

if only

you could understand

this silence

not that I don't think of you

but that I have no words

Edited by waxwings

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goldenlangur

Hi waxwings,

 

... The first sentence lacks a verb which is not wrong but to conform to the idea of prose I'd put a comma after pines to make sure the reader sees you mean "moon threading (a gerund) is through the pines", i.e. a deliberate inversion of standard syntax for poetic purpose. Be assured it works for me, esp. since it sounds Japanese even if it is pure English w/o supporting punctuation, but would it for all?

 

Good point about how Japanese it sounds - not that I'm attempting Japanese here ;) but in the sense that it is the aesthetics which underpins the tanka prose.

 

 

 

And the lack of a "the" before "dawn" makes it sound a wee bit awkward to me.

 

I too have wondered if the addition of the in front of dawn would make it more significant - i.e. - it could be something more than just the birthday of the person to whom the tanka is addressed and thought that without 'the" the reference is more specific rather than with a greater significance (as in the dawn of civilization, the dawn of a new era, to cite a few common associations, the use of the would imply.)

 

 

 

Thank you so much for returning.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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