Tanka is a Japanese form of poetry which is older than haiku. A traditional Tanka has 5 lines with syllables in each line of 5-7-5-7-7. The poem should be organized into two separate thoughts so that lines 1, 2 and 3 can be separated from lines 4 and 5; likewise, lines 3, 4 and 5 can be taken away from lines 1 and 2. For this reason, the middle line (3) is called a pivot line - it completes the first thought and also begins the second
thunder broils, clouds loom
with bright electric flashes
like some of my moods
they grow darker through the day
then erupt with a fierce strike
gurgle and bubble
playful water skips on rocks
dances with red leaves
Autumn sneaks up on warm breath
all will soon be ice
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