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Aleksandra

TANKA CHALLENGE

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Aleksandra

Here it is tanka challenge too icon_smile.gif.

Lake and Goldenlangur came with another great idea for opening of this new challenge, and many of us support and awaits of this.

I am not competent person to start this thread, like it should be icon_redface.gif . So I am just opening my friends, and Goldenlangur, you are more than welcomed to help us here to improve our efforts, because without suspect, you are the best writer of tanka, by mine opinion, but I am sure you have more fans who reads and respect your work.

 

So my friends go ahead icon_smile.gif.

 

Aleksandra


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Just a few for this challenge:

 

1.

keen and clear

Orion's belt and sword

another sleepless night

encrusted in frost

this uncrossable bridge

 

2.

waiting

for you

I sink

into the jasmine night

and unremembered dreams

 

3.

this morning

shell of a spider in your room

how long since it left

and all these days I thought

I was alone

 

4.

plaster clinic -

the nurse who knows so much

has never broken a leg

'Your fracture is neat,' he says

and chats about his new car

 

5.

again today

the world market dips -

morning radio

I switch it off with my crutch

and watch the leaves fall

 

 

Any suggestions for changes/improvement most welcome

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Aleksandra

waiting

for you

I sink

into the jasmine night

and unremembered dreams

 

Goldenlangur, this is really wonderful tanka. Wonderful expressed. " Jasmine night " sounds magic. I loved this one, the most.

 

And 4 tanka made me smile icon_smile.gif. I have experience with something like that too icon_smile.gif

 

Wonderful GL. Much enjoyed

 

Aleksandra


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Thank you Aleksandra icon_smile.gif you're always so complimentary about my tanka efforts.

 

I had doubts about the tanka you've quoted, so I'm delighted that you like it the most. As for No. 4. I'm not surprised that you have had a similar experience because many friends have told me that talking to a medical professional, can be quite a challenge and often what they advise is based on textual/theoretical knowledge and may bear little resemlance to the individula patient's needs. But I must not complain too much! icon_wink.gif

 

 

I hope you will try a tanka or two.

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Lake

Hi Golden,

 

I'm here to learn.

 

goldenlangur wrote:

 

1.

keen and clear

Orion's belt and sword

another sleepless night

encrusted in frost

this uncrossable bridge

 

I like encrusted in frost, and this uncrossable bridge reminds me strongly of the story - a bridge is built by magpies over the milky way for the herd boy and weaving girl to meet once a year. This uncrossable bridge can also mean any obstacles.

 

2.

waiting

for you

I sink

into the jasmine night

and unremembered dreams

 

I sink, disappointed? hope lost? But the jasmine night is such a lovely image , this fragrance filled night together with unremembered dreams may have another interpretation that "I" is lost in the past memories?

 

3.

this morning

shell of a spider in your room

how long since it left

and all these days I thought

I was alone

 

It has a bleak and lonely feel.

 

4.

plaster clinic -

the nurse who knows so much

has never broken a leg

'Your fracture is neat,' he says

and chats about his new car

 

A lot of people can relate to this. It has a humorous or satiric tint.

 

5.

again today

the world market dips -

morning radio

I switch it off with my crutch

and watch the leaves fall

 

This is topical. Leaves fall parallels market dips. I like how you turned of the radio with your crutch which shows your mood and the market is just like crippled.

 

Hope I'm not too far off the mark.

 

Thanks for the examples.

 

Lake

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Lake

Here is my two. Waiting for suggestions.

 

grass pushes

through the breeze

and the melting snow

listening to the birds

I miss your spring verse

 

 

a fresh wind flirts

this long-awaited sun

my legs race

along a gurgling creek

leaving winter behind

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

 

You echo sincerely my thoughts:

 

I'm here to learn.

 

In a workshop like this reading your tanka and hopefully of other members and also receiving feedback on my own, I learn so much.

 

Your painstaking review of individual tanka is most rewarding. I appreciate deeply your sensitive and perceptive engagement with the images and the allusions therein. Your reference here is beautiful:

 

this uncrossable bridge
reminds me strongly of the story - a

bridge is built by magpies over the milky way for the herd boy and

weaving girl to meet once a year.

 

What a fabulous story and thank you for sharing it. Is it a Chinese folk tale? Very moving!

 

And yes, the sense of being obstructed and unable to move forward was intended.

 

 

I like how you see 'past memories' in No. 2 and certainly a strong sense of disappointment. I had doubts about this one so I'm very grateful that you were able to give it a layered reading.

 

 

You've also picked up so well the 'bleak' and 'lonely' feel of No.3. I wrote this for my father at this time of the annual rites for the dead.

 

In No. 4. you've definitely understood the touch of satiric humor - but I must not complain too much icon_wink.gif

 

Your interpretation here is most gratifying! How well you link the images and the resonance that each has for the other:

 

This is topical.
Leaves fall
parallels
market dips
. I like how you turned of the radio with your crutch which shows your mood and the market is just like crippled.

 

I cannot thank you enough for your review.

 

With much appreciation,

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

There's a classic feel to your tanka, evoking longing and reaching out for something intangible.

 

In the first tanka I love how you link the '

birds'

(songs, twitters) to

'your verse'

- suggesting how the words and indeed presence of the person touched your heart and mind and yet how out-of-reach this person is. Beautiful! You accomplish the 'turn' in the second half of this tanka so well. icon_biggrin.png

 

A tiny point about the line:

through the breeze

. A rather pedantic question would be: How does the grass push through the breeze? But somehow it seems to trip up the flow of your tanka. If you don't mind and do please feel free to ignore this reworking, perhaps something like this:

 

grass pushes

through the melting snow

warm breeze

listening to the birds

I miss your spring verse

 

Or:

 

grass pushes

through the melting snow

spring breeze

listening to the birds

I miss your verse

 

But in this version that lovely 'spring verse' is lost. These are just ideas to play around and bin as you see fit.

 

 

Your second tanka is also wonderful icon_biggrin.png

this long-awaited sun

is so laden with yearning and hoping and the sense of freedom and the spontaneous outburst of joy you capture in the second part of the tanka is superb!

 

Again, do feel free to ignore my suggestion. A teeny, weeny nit here:

flirts

does not tell the reader what is happening but your splendid second line

this long-awaited sun

seems to suggest a lifting of clouds and an outburst of the sun. So would you consider a little rejig here:

 

fresh winds lift clouds

over this long-awaited sun

I race

along a gurgling creek

leaving winter behind

 

 

As ever Lake, these are just ideas that occurred to me but you and other readers might find these make little sense. So please do feel free to reject mu suggestions. But I thoroughly enjoyed your tanka and love how you imbue your writing with a classic feel icon_biggrin.pngicon_biggrin.pngicon_biggrin.png

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Aleksandra

Lake wonderful. I like your tankas. I see the thread is so useful for all of us.

So here is me too. Here is my first tanka icon_eek.gif

 

 

Frostbite -

a hole in the ice.

Mirror -

a reflection of you,

lost in memory.


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra

Really I need help. Maybe I am out of sense in my tankas icon_redface.gif

Here is one more.

 

My crumpled heart chokes

in the night,

without warmness

and naked body and face.

I need my soul back.


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Lake

Thank you, Golden! Your opinions are what I need.

 

In my initial draft the first verse began like this

grass pushes

through the melting snow

as cool breeze blows

 

For some unknown reason, I thought grass pushes through the breeze is very original. After reading your comment, it does sound illogical. I like both of your rewrite and glad to see the word "and" is gone.

 

In the second verse, I like how you use "I race" to replace "my legs race" and "lift clouds" is another good option. As for "flirt", I meant the wind plays with the sun, but if it causes ambiguity or uncertainty, it should be replaced.

 

Your thoughts make quite clear sense and they are always appreciated.

 

Lake

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Lake

Aleksandra,

 

Glad to read your tanka. I find in your tanka a strong emotion as that in your other poems. If mine has a classic feel ( hard to write something new and fresh) as Golden commented, I think yours is contemporary.

 

One thing I'm not quite sure about your first tanka is the connection between "frostbite" and "a hole in the ice." There might be something obvious that I've missed. If that's the case, please let me know.

 

Your second one, the more I read it, the more I feel it. Very powerful.

 

I'm not an expert in this form, so I'll leave the technicality part to Golden.

icon_smile.gif

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Lake

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Lake

Here are two more.

 

silver lights

shed upon the darkness

the moonshine?

I roll up the blinds -

ah, the first snowfall!

 

 

helpless on the couch

my once vigorous father

points to the clivia

that unfurls its petals

in each morning dew

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

i dance

in the rain

i skip in the puddles

my soul reflects in the sunlight

tomorrow is a new day


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

loved everyone poems here, i can only hope i did good at my first tanka.


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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goldenlangur

How wonderful to read your tanka or two Aleksandra icon_biggrin.png

 

Your first tanka has a lovely tender tone and your image of the

ice

mirroring the person is beautiful!

 

Like you I often translate from my language into English and find feedback about what works/does not work most helpful. So in this spirit, I hope you won't mind my pointing out a few minor points?

 

In the first line perhaps you might need to add another detail to

frostbite

to suggests a frost covered landscape ? Absolutely love

the hole in the ice

- its concrete, vivid and so clear! In tanka we don't use periods (.) at the end of lines because the tanka like the haiku, is read in a single breath. The idea of 'mirror' in the third line is linked very well to your last two lines and the first two lines. But it reads a little abrupt. But I think you're trying to get that caesura effect which tanka like the haiku, also follows. I admire how closely you observe and adopt these nuaced aspects of the form.

But we have 3 fragments (

frostbite

and

mirror

and

a hole in the ice

) giving that caesura effect in your tanka which disrupts the flow of your tanka. So perhaps here, we could rework a little so as not to lose the fabulous final two lines of your tanka.

 

Something like this?:

 

frost covered lake

a hole in the ice.

I see

a reflection of you

lost in memory

 

 

Or:

 

November frost

a hole in the ice

I see

your face

lost in memory

 

(In this version the 'reflection' is implied and the reader comes to it from your images.)

 

Or:

 

frost on the field

a hole in the ice

I see

you

lost in memory

 

(In this one the poet could be imagining the face of the person - moreopen to interpretation)

 

As ever, Aleksandra please do feel free to accept or reject my suggestions. Above all be true to what you really want to say and use the form - me thinks the tank is eminently suitable to your kind of themes.

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hello again Aleksandra,

 

Another beautiful write with a classic (intrinsic) sense and spirit of the tanka form. To bring out the full potential of your tanka I hope you won't mind my slight reworking of the lines?:

 

my crumpled heart chokes

devoid of any warmth

in the night,

with this naked body and face

how I long for my my soul

 

I've enjoyed reading your tanka and hope you won't be put off by my playing around. You're truly on the way of a great tanka journey icon_smile.gif

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hello Lake,

 

Your wonderful closeness of details in both haiku and the tanka grows and grows and I've really enjoyed your exchange here:

Lake wrote:

 

In my initial draft the first verse began like this

grass pushes

through the melting snow

as cool breeze blows

 

For some unknown reason, I thought grass pushes through the breeze is very original. After reading your comment, it does sound illogical. I like both of your rewrite and glad to see the word "and" is gone.

 

In the second verse, I like how you use "I race" to replace "my legs race" and "lift clouds" is another good option. As for "flirt", I meant the wind plays with the sun, but if it causes ambiguity or uncertainty, it should be replaced.

 

Lake

 

Ambiquity in tanka is wonderful and so reading this I wonder if you would consider something like:

fresh winds flirts

with this long-awaited sun

 

Always be true to what you really want to say because a reader can only impute. Yours is the real voice. I hope you will trust it as your tanka and haiku journey grows in strength and beauty.

 

Can I just say that I'm sorry that you thought by 'classic' I implied something not contemporary or original. My apologies, Lake. By classic I mean intrinsic and true to the core of the tanka form. To quote the thesaurus : "of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind". I hope this reassures you that I have nothing but admirationfor your writing and always enjoy our exchanges.

 

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hello vic,

 

What a joyful tanka you've written! icon_biggrin.png Love the image of the sun reflecting 'my soul'! And your final line gives much to hope icon_smile.gif

 

Would you be offended if I suggest a little playing around with the lines to bring the power of your song (tanka was originally a song)?:

 

in rain and puddles

I dance and sing

wordless joy!

sunlight mirrors my soul

and a new tomorrow

 

 

If this in any way alters your intention, do please feel free to ignore my suggestion, vic. But I'm delighted to see you try this form and give us such a beautiful song icon_smile.gif What a wonderful spirit you have vic!

 

 

 

Enjoyed this very, very much,

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Larsen M. Callirhoe
Hello vic,

 

What a joyful tanka you've written! icon_biggrin.png Love the image of the sun reflecting 'my soul'! And your final line gives much to hope icon_smile.gif

 

Would you be offended if I suggest a little playing around with the lines to bring the power of your song (tanka was originally a song)?:

 

in rain and puddles

I dance and sing

wordless joy!

sunlight mirrors my soul

and a new tomorrow

 

 

If this in any way alters your intention, do please feel free to ignore my suggestion, vic. But I'm delighted to see you try this form and give us such a beautiful song icon_smile.gif What a wonderful spirit you have vic!

 

 

 

Enjoyed this very, very much,

 

goldenlangur

 

im not offended at all. i believe we are to see more beauty then what the writer intends to write in a person's writings. i loved what you wrote gl. i tried and will write another tomorrow ,orning.

 

cheers

vic


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Lake

goldenlangur wrote:

 

fresh winds flirt

with this long-awaited sun

 

I like this, Golden. Thanks.

 

I'd like to say I understand what you said about 'classic', in a good sense, and I'm glad to hear if my work is leaning towards the core of the tanka. It is just that I find a lot of images have been used and subjects have been written about, so it's hard to write something new and fresh. How to use the imagery in a new way? That's a challenge.

 

I would also like to say, I read your comments not only on my poems, but also on others. Your rework on Alek's and Larsen's sounds more clear and richer. I feel I'm taking a free on-line class now. icon_biggrin.png

 

Many thanks,

 

Lake

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goldenlangur

Hello Lake,

 

 

I like your idea of a free-on-line class icon_smile.gif and as we post more we learn more. Practice is what does it, me thinks too.

Thank you for getting back with your thoughts on 'classic' and the point about images:

Lake wrote:

 

I'd like to say I understand what you said about 'classic', in a good sense, and I'm glad to hear if my work is leaning towards the core of the tanka. It is just that I find a lot of images have been used and subjects have been written about, so it's hard to write something new and fresh. How to use the imagery in a new way? That's a challenge.

 

Lake

 

You've put your finger on the essence of the haiku and tanka - simple, everyday images which are used quite commonly but the challenge is bringing out that 'aha!' moment in haiku and that 'turn' in the tanka, to surprise and delight the reader or touch a deep chord in the reader.

 

You're incredibly generous about my reviews on this thread but I must say that what I suggest may not always work or represent what the poet intends. Also I too am learning how to write the tanka and exchanges with you and others are immensely helpful and thought-provoking and enrich my writing.

 

So thank you very much and hope to exchange many more thoughts here icon_smile.gif

 

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

The first tanka conveys well that moment of pleasant surprise when things fall into place - the unexplained glow behind the blinds turns out to be 'the first snowfall'!

 

Would a slight rearranging of lines work? tanka allows more lyrical details. Will these do?:

 

silver lights

glow in the darkness

is it moonshine?

I roll up the blinds -

ah, the first snowfall!

 

or

 

a silver glow

on this moonless night

what can it be?

I roll up the blinds

ah! the first snow!

(In this version the 'moonless night' brings out why the 'silver lights' caught the poet's attention; but it may not be what you intended).

 

Your second tanka is deeply moving in the way you contrast your father's now 'helpless' physical state (the 2nd line brings this out very well) and his mental faculty - he's still able to appreciate the beauty of the clivia flower. The final line is laden with exqusite delicacy of the frailty of human life:

 

helpless on the couch

my once vigorous father

points to the clivia

that unfurls its petals

in each morning dew

 

 

the tanka form allows such exploration of feelings and you've harnessed the form's requisite aspects very touchingly here.

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

leaving without words

you erased tomorrow

such finality!

even in dreams we meet

without words

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Lake

goldenlangur wrote:

 

The first tanka conveys well that moment of pleasant surprise when things fall into place - the unexplained glow behind the blinds turns out to be 'the first snowfall'!

 

Would a slight rearranging of lines work? tanka allows more lyrical details. Will these do?:

 

silver lights

glow in the darkness

is it moonshine?

I roll up the blinds -

ah, the first snowfall!

 

or

 

a silver glow

on this moonless night

what can it be?

I roll up the blinds

ah! the first snow!

(In this version the 'moonless night' brings out why the 'silver lights' caught the poet's attention; but it may not be what you intended).

 

Golden, you interpreted this verse very well. It is exactly what meant. I like your second version more.

 

Glad you think the second one is moving. I'll keep "tanka allows more lyrical details; the tanka form allows such exploration of feelings" in mind when I write tanka. This is one difference between tanka and haiku I've just learned besides the number of lines. Thank you for this.

 

Best,

 

Lake

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