Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fussy Little Forms: Tanaga

Good weekend, friends!

I’m writing this prompt in the early morning as our town wakes up under a blanket of fresh snow. Soon I’ll be out driving in it, headed to work. Are we done with this yet? Let’s travel somewhere else for a spell.

For our weekend fussy form challenge, let’s head to the Phillippines and try the TANAGA.

With apologies and love to you-know-you, the tanaga is similar to haiku and tanka, being a compact quatrain with four seven-syllable lines. The tanaga can be written in various rhyme schemes, but traditionally all four lines rhyme, like aaaa bbbb cccc, and so on:

    X X X X X X A
    X X X X X X A
    X X X X X X A
    X X X X X X A

Or you can try other rhyme variations, like aabb ccdd, or abba cddc.

A tanaga poem can stand on its own four lines, or the verses can be strung together for a longer poem. Usually titles are not used with tanaga poems.

The key to tanaga is that it is a witty poem, emotionally charged or heavy on metaphor, sometimes begging a question that demands an answer.

For a longer/better explanation, Pirate Grace O’Malley introduced the tanaga in the Garden some years ago, here: TULOY PO KAYO

For a quick example, here is one of my attempts from that time:

The golden arches beckon.
Hungry travelers reckon,
"Just once." No condemnation,
I understand temptation.
Okay, let’s try it. Have fun with this clever form, and please feel free to link up one or many tries as your rhyming heart desires. Enjoy!

The National Flower of the Philippines: Sweet & Fragrant Sampaguita

12 comments:

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Loved the prompt, Marian!💞 I chose rhyme variation(abba cddc)sharing my poem 'Until the end of time.' Happy Weekend everyone!💞

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I've written one before Jan. 2017 (just looked) and what fun! Looking forward to writing one again. Just getting started after Sat. oatmeal with berries and chia seeds.

Happy Saturday to everyone I'm happy to be here today to share! Bike riding isn't until tomorrow. Be back to link up soon.

Big hug!

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Not a second-helping, that's a mistype sorry! My link is good though I'll change it next time. What fun I had with this great form.

I'll be around to read later this weekend. Have a nice one.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Rhyme and I have never really seen eye-to-eye. Well, rhyme can certainly look at me, but... I get all twitchy and often run away because... well, you see, a great rhymer I am not. But I couldn't refuse this one. I never heard of the form before, but love its brevity, its playfulness, and its awesome name.

Thanks a million for the inspiration, Marian. I needed it today.

Marian said...

It *is* playful, right? That's why I like it. Hopefully I'll have a few to share by tomorrow and am looking forward to reading all of yours, friends!

Vivian Zems said...

A beautiful prompt and challenge, Marian! Have a lovely weekend, Toads!

brudberg said...

Worked better than I thought... was easier when using trochaic ending...

but it's far from playful... more dark I would say.

Fireblossom said...

*crosses arms and looks away* Hmmf.

;-)

Kim Russell said...

I love trying new forms, Marian, and hope that I have risen to this challenge - it's the first poem I've written in a week full of angst and excitement!

Marian said...

Wow, I found this very difficult. Not really in love with what I came up with, but what the heck, sharing anyway. !

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh my, rhyme, my nemesis.. but I wrote something.

Margaret said...

...I TRIED. structure and rhyme challenge me :)