Saturday, January 18, 2014

When I Write Tanka (Part 2) ~ Hisashi Nakamura

This is the final part of our series on the writing of tanka poetry, brought to us by Dr Hisashi Nakamura. In When I Write Tanka (Part 1), he discussed four essential components of the tanka form. I now hand over to him to conclude.

5. Space and Time 

When a tanka has words associated with both space and time, it creates a three dimensional poetry world where suggestiveness lingers.

Stifled by the air 
Laden with the rusty dust 
Of the passing years, 
The dead cranes in the shipyard 
Idly dangle their cables.

Under my bare feet 
I feel the fine grain of wood 
Of the temple floor. 
The shadow of ancient eaves 
Falls upon me as I pass.

6 Finding Something in an Ordinary Daily Scene 

It is not necessary to struggle to find a theme about which you compose tanka. When your mind is at peace things surrounding you come into your mind to create poetry.

The stillness and warmth 
Of the autumn day embrace 
The wandering bee. 
As the evening rays weaken 
His shadow melts into the stone.

7 Fusing My Mind with Nature 

I often feel that I find my feelings in nature and nature reflects myself as if nature and myself fuse together. This experience creates tanka which may be very personal and may not be appreciated by many people. 

Now the spring rain falls 
Day after day in silence 
Over the wild moors, 
Healing the wounds of the soul, 
Seeping deep into the earth. 

A red poppy field 
In a sea of June sunlight 
Under a blank sky; 
From the cool innocent earth 
Long gone wounded souls seep out. 

Our challenge: Let us try to bring together all we have learnt about tanka these last few months. You may link as many tanka as you like, either separately or in the same post.

All poems featured are © Hisashi Nakamura 2013 (Printed with permission)

I take this opportunity to thank Dr Nakamura, on behalf of all members and followers of The Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, for his unstinting generosity in sharing his expertise with us. Such encouragement is invaluable.

Photo Credits:

Autumn Pagoda: photo credit: terratrekking via photopin cc
City Deer: photo credit: Richard.Fisher via photopin cc
Cranes: photo credit: wildphotons via photopin cc


Fireblossom said...


Grace said...

I love the tanka series Kerry ~ Thanks to Dr. Nakamura for the article ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you for your patience, FB.

Marian said...

this has been such a special series on tanka, Kerry... I'm quite grateful for it and hate to see the posts end. not that my scribbling of tanka is likely to cease anytime soon. :) thanks to both you and Dr. Nakamura for that!

hedgewitch said...

I have been in the mood for a form--it *would* be tanka today of course, one with which I always struggle terribly--but I appreciate the insight of Dr Nakamura, and hope I have benefited from it. Happy weekend, dear toads.

Anonymous said...

mine are a bit dark, despite the sun on the western flank of the normerica landmass. so it goes ~

Susan said...

I started posting and commenting on Part One of this series, silly me. I enjoyed this greatly, Kerry. Thank you for bringing guest Hisashi Nakamura.

Margaret said...

How lucky are we? I was just thinking I needed the structure of a form poem as I am a "lazy" poet. :) I hope I did OK… they really are quite hard. I will be back tomorrow - hubby is home tonight! What a treat.

Kenia Santos said...

I'll have to go back and read the beginning of this great series to be able to participate. I'll be back later with a tanka, which some of you might remember, I suck at. I'll rest my mind and try. <3

Kenia Santos said...

My tanka attempt is up. I bleed everytime I try to write form poetry. Thanks for the wound. <3

brudberg said...

So great with tanka today.. I saw quite a few that linked to tree poetry on dVerse as well.. wonderful... These articles are really good for me.

Susie Clevenger said...

I love the challenge to write tanka...the series has been wonderful Kerry.

Other Mary said...

Thank you Kerry.

Louisette said...

Lovely poem and series fotos

Hannah said...

A huge thank you to Kerry for hosting and creating these challenges and to Dr. Hisashi Nakamura for his inspiration and valuable insights.

I've enjoyed this series greatly! :)

Margaret said...

I took off with my youngest daughter on a three day "holiday". I will catch up with everyone in the next couple of days!