Thursday, March 27, 2008

Poetry Stretch Results - Tanka

The challenge this week was to write in the form of tanka, a Japanese poetic form that can be thought of as an extended haiku. The poems are generally composed in five phrases of 5/7/5/7/7 syllables, though the emphasis is on lines that are short/long/short/long/long. Here's what folks shared this week.
Marianne Neilsen at Doing the the Write Thing! shares a tanka inspired by a photo.

Daisybug at Things that make me say... shares a tanka on the nature of longing.

Noah the Great has some great alliteration going in his tanka on sunburns.

cloudscome at a wrung sponge wrote a tanka inspired by a visit to the zoo.

Laura Purdie Salas shares three tankas on a variety of subjects.

Elaine at Wild Rose Reader also shares three tankas, hers all on the the subject of spring. One of them even fits very nicely with the theme of my tankas!
I have been working on a thematic book list for the last week or so on the new life that abounds in spring. Since my brain has been thinking hatching eggs and baby animals, my poems naturally went in that direction.
four blue treasures
warmed by a hot, bare tummy
turned, rolled, turned, rolled
brooded over day by day
until helpless chicks emerge

hatched from an egg
a munching machine is born
eating, growing, eating, growing
until a chrysalis forms
grand metamorphosis

hatched from jelly eggs
big-headed polliwogs
swim, grow, swim, change
growing legs, losing tails
leaving water for land
It's not too late if you still want to stretch with us. What kind of tanka will you write? Leave me a comment about your poem and I'll add it to the list.


  1. Trisha I love these eggy tanka! My favorite lines: "four blue treasures
    warmed by a hot, bare tummy" Wowza!

  2. Tricia, these are terrific. I love the way you use repetition in your turn lines. The polliwog (those big-headed polliwogs!) one is my favorite!

  3. Tricia,

    I like your tanka!

    I just posted the three tanka I wrote at Wild Rose Reader.