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Tanka: Disappearing Act

Updated on July 26, 2017
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Catherine has loved nature and animals since childhood and advocates for sustainability and respect for all living things.

This is another classic form of Japanese poetry, called Tanka. The first 3 lines follow the 5-7-5 format of common Haiku. This is the kami-no-ku which refers to the upper part. The lower part, called shimo-no-ku, follows a 7-7 format. There is a twist of perception between the two. I hope you like it.


_______

Velvety darkness

Stars float to infinity .

Veiled by daylight

Deep secret places vanish.

The sky's clever illusion!

_______



© 2012 Catherine Tally

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      Catherine Tally 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Good morning, nsnorth. I usually write haiku and thought I'd try tanka since it fit more with what I had to express. I am not familiar with any specific forms. I'll check it out.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a kind and encouraging comment. :)

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      nsnorth 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      You have successfully done what I love most about tankas here, and that is to create a vivid image of what one can see with the eyes and link it to an invisible that can only be seen with memory or the heart. Are you familiar with the dodoitsu form?

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, 2patricias! I'm happy that you stopped by to discover something new. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments and the lovely compliment! :)

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      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I've never come across the form of poetry before. What a lovely example.

      The sun is indeed an illusionist, what with all that light that's reflected off other heavenly bodies. Never thought of it that way.

      That's a mark of a good poem - makes the reader think.

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, Deb! I'm glad you liked it. I appreciate your kind compliment.

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      Deb Welch 5 years ago

      Liked this one - beautiful. Love Japanese work.

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Rahul! Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments. It is always good to see you!

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      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      great haiku!

      perfect and apt..

      beautiful!

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, Sueswan It's nice to see you here. I really appreciate your positive comments and support!

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      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Lovely

      Voted up and away

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, schoolgirlforreal. :)

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      schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

      I read it twice and it's pretty cool =) :)

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Martie,

      Thank you! I'm so glad you found inspiration from this and hope that you will give it a try. I agree that haiku can be very restricting, yet I still love the minimalist approach. I can't really force good verse, so my writing comes more in creative spurts. I really appreciate your dropping by and commenting.:)

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      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      cat on a soapbox, I really like this Tanka-poem of yours and feel inspired to try this, as I find Haiku too restricting.

      Voted up and beautiful :)

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      Anjili 5 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      I don't know japanese except; Konichiwa, konbanwa, Wakarimasu, wakarimashita. Sounds interesting. Might think of taking lessons. The poetry seems a bit difficult though. Thanks for the share.

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi, Audrey. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I remember in art classes how we had to study a figure and then draw it in the simplest form within 1 min., sometimes less. This disciplne taught us to choose the most necessary curves and lines while discarding the rest. I find Haiku and other Japanese forms similar in concept but with more structured guidelines. I love it with a passion!

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      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Really nice!! I love the Japanese forms

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Bless you, Arb! It's so good to see you back. I've missed you :)

      One of the things I've learned since picking up haiku years ago is to observe more and to speak less. It's a beautiful discipline.

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      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Don't speak Japanese cat, but I speak poetry and this is really good!

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      You're welcome, Cherriquinn. Thanks for checking it out!

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      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Hi there, Again Im not familiar with this poetry but have had a lesson reading this! Thankyou for that.

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      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you, Perspycacious! I've corrected it. It started out with the discipline before I began playing around w/ preferred word sounds- then I left forgot to go back and check. I appreciate your keeping me to my word!

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      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Counting syllables:

      The radiant sun, (5)

      A clever illusionist, (7)

      Seizes a starred canopy, (7-8 depending on star'red or starred)

      A sea of glittering jewels, (8)

      And veils it behind blue sky. (7)

      The poem can stand by itself as a beautiful poem saying exactly what you wanted it to say. The intent for 5-7-5-7-7 doesn't seem to me to have been met. Or am I mistaken?