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Poetry Magnum Opus

Try a Verse Form from Southeast Asia - Here is a contest for fun.


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@tonyv This is what I was telling you about.  Something I'm doing at another site, Writing.com.  I thought I would bring it here and show you.  I posted this round 12:01 May 1 and I have 4 entries already.   Twice a month a new Eastern form is introduced and members are invited to participate.  It averages about 12 to 15 entries a round and each poem is reviewed with feed back to the poet and judged. You don't really win anything but it is a fun exercise and people read your work.  

A logo for my popular contest
Round 70 May1 thru May 14, from the Philippines, the Tanaga  nw.gif

Tagalog was its first home,
here we write a simple tome.
Join us from your sheltered dome
and soon again we can roam

Round 70 Entries

In this Contest all you have to do is write poetry based on the form given for the current round. The form will change twice a month, on the 1st and the 15th. The winning poem of the last round will be displayed in this forum along with the next prompt.


1. The poem has to be newly created for the round you enter. You may use established characters. Most oriental poetry follows a particular theme. Thus how well those traditions are followed is judged.
2. One entry per poet per round may be submitted.
3. Deadlines will be midnight Pacific Time the last day of the round.
4. Editing is allowed up until the day before the end of the round.

The Philippine Islands is a Southeast Asia country located in the Western Pacific Ocean. Filipino poetry dates back before colonization and has been an intregal part of the Filipino culture. The earliest Tagalog epics are written in verse.

Master poets show us how
to push the poetic plow
and compose poems in the now.
Please all stand and take a bow.
                   ~~ Tinker

The Tanaga  nw.gif is a Filipino verse form that was originally composed in Tagolog, which to my ear is one of the more musical of languages. (Kumusta ka? Mabuti salam at) The form dates back to the 16th century and has an oral tradition. This old folk form had a resurgence of popularity in the 20th century, died down and resurfaced again mid 21st century. The poems are not titled. Originally it was a compact poem, contained in 4 lines, each is emotionally charged and asks a question that begs an answer.

The elements of the Tanaga are:
         1. a tetrastich, a poem in 4 lines. However, modern poets have modified it to longer works in a stanzaic pattern of any number of quatrains.
         2. syllabic, 7-7-7-7 syllables per line.
         3. rhymed, originally monorhymed aaaa. Modern Tanagas also use aaaa bbbb etc., or aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc or any combination rhyme can be used.
         4. asks a question seeking an answer
         5. composed with the liberal use of metaphor
         6. untitled. But in this poetic world we kind of have to title our poems for identity's sake.

I'd Like to Think, It Knew

Saintly sentinel stands guard,
oversees nature's regard.
St. Francis in my front yard,
stone statue weathered and scarred.

The welcome, silent and stead,
his story of care is widespread.
A brown bird lights on his head
to peruse the garden bed.

Do you think it may have known
what the ancient priest had sown?
St Francis was never alone,
love for all life he intoned.
                    ~~Judi Van Gorder

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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Dream Love Tanaga


central mystery  my life

how she walked into life

walking out of dream as wife

how she came into my life 


the mystery remains this

 how she brought me such deep bliss

 every day what I miss

 ending the day with her kiss


she came to me in a dream

haunting my days as I scream

who are you silence in dream

That day she walked out of dream


she walked out into my life

then she became my wife

38 years ago came to life

45 years became dream wife


writing digest oriental poetry contest/poetry magnum opus



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