This week’s Form and Genre Challenge is to write a Tanka. A Tanka is a five line Japanese poem which uses 31 syllables in all. This is my first attempt at writing a Tanka although I have tried my hand at the shorter Haiku form before. For this challenge I wrote several different Tankas. Below are the four I submitted to my beta readers. The top one, written in honour of my daughter’s 20th birthday, is my challenge entry.
Small and fragile in my arms
now small, not fragile
twenty years on still such joy.
Soon roles reversed as
me she cradles in her arms.
This one was written after last week’s Wales v France rugby match. Before the game I sang alone – I was the only Welshman present – the Welsh national anthem much to the surprise of most of the gathered Frenchmen:
My voice rings out, pride and joy
shatters silence, shocks.
Welsh you know, how can I ought.
Birds fly, lions prey,
Welsh, our song ne’er will fail.
And this one was written at the library contemplating the mass of books available to me and other hungry readers:
Big and small and fat and thin
novels, essays, more;
their voice rings out
t’is honey to my mind,
but to my heart, bitter herbs.
I’ve just finished reading a book by a friend about the experience of widowhood. Hence this last one:
One last time the flame climbs high
I hope vain, false hope
such hope betrays, lets me down.
And solitude reigns
as stiffened eyes I close
Please read the other entries in this week’s challenge and vote for you favourite on the Write Anything website.