Archive for the 'Tanka' Category

Tanka #3 Blackbird

Common Blackbird


At first light of dawn
Crisp white frost covers green grass.
A lone blackbird sings
His rich, melodious song
Of praises to the new day.

Copyright 2011 Trevor Hampel

All rights reserved.

Read more of my poetry here.

Tanka #2 Rainbow Bee-eater

Rainbow Bee-eater
Soars, glides, chirring on the air,
Snapping bees, flying
Insects. Dead branch perched – surveys
Its next savoury portion.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2008 Trevor W. Hampel

Rainbow Bee eater

Rainbow Bee eater

To view more of my photos click here.

Tanka #1 Yellow-tailed Thornbills

Yellow-tailed Thornbills
Hopping and fluttering through
Lush grass seeking bugs,
Assorted beetles, insects

For a tasty lunch-time snack.

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2008 Trevor W. Hampel

To read more of my poetry click here.

Yellow Rumped Thornbill

Yellow Rumped Thornbill

Writing Tanka poetry

Tanka poems are an older form of Japanese poetry than haiku but are very similar to haiku poems, but a little longer. Like the haiku, they start with three lines of five, seven and five syllables.

The poet then adds a further two lines, each of seven syllables, making a total of 31 syllables whereas the haiku have only 17 syllables. So, in order, each line has 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7 syllables.

Tanka poems are often about strong emotional subjects, like love or sadness, though this restriction is no longer the case with modern tanka written in English.

Nectarine tree blossoms

Nectarine tree blossoms

Here is a tanka poem I wrote this week.

Orchard adorned with
A pink and white petalled coat
In response to spring

Followed quickly by green leaves
And a promise of summer fruit.

Like haiku, tanka poems are usually untitled.

Related article:

If you would like to read some more of my poetry, click here.

Good writing.

Plum tree blossoms

Plum tree blossoms