Monday, August 26, 2013

More Japanese Poems: Tanka and Haiku

I'm still experimenting with different types of poetry, and most recently I've started writing tanka on twitter. Tanka is a genre of Japanese poetry similar to haiku, but with five lines instead of three. They usually follow a pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. The longer form of tanka can give you more opportunity for emotional expression, which I enjoy. Like sonnets, tanka usually have a "turn" in the poem, a point where the poet goes from depicting an image to an emotional response.

Here are some of my tanka:

Sometimes I wonder
If a journey is worth it
Find peace in stillness
Listen to beloved voices
Beauty of the familiar

Family pictures
Line my wooden dresser
They smile cheerfully
My pillars of strength
Not alone anymore

Even as she sleeps
I watch her beloved face
Her gentle breathing
A perfect rhythmic music
The soft sound of her essence

Longing for the stars
Hidden by false light and smog
As the concrete
Imprisons the dark soil
Trapped in a tower of glass

Thin dark face, glasses
Awkward but intelligent
Endlessly bullied
Someday you'll escape the pain
When the world learns your value

Here are some new haiku as well:

Wind rustling the leaves
Roll of distant thunder
Moonless summer night

Leaving her today
Time to go back to work
Missing my heart

Breasts swelling with milk
My body loves her deeply
As my soul

In early morning
I hold her to my body
Warm hungry infant

Shots at the doctor
Poor little crying baby
Mother crying too

Baby sleeping now
Mother needs to unwind
Having a doughnut

Heedless children run
Never looking down
until they fall

Other Haiku Posts:

Three Poems

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