Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 113, Happy December! Poets Choice of Words


Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.

PLEASE NOTE: This challenge is for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. <3


Please note: We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!

The most meaningful change you will learn about is in writing a Haiku vs. a Senryu. Also, remember, pronunciation in various parts of the world will affect your syllable count. Go with your gut on deciding the syllable count. You are the poet and the creator of your work.

I sponsor this challenge to help poets learn how to write various forms of poetry. Remember, if you are sending your poetry for publication in literary journals, contests, or self-publishing, you should know the correct forms and use them.

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the links to learn about each form:

(Currently, free-verse prose poems are NOT part of this challenge)

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Haiku is written about seasonal changes, nature, and change in general.

TANKA IN ENGLISH 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. Your Tanka will consist of five lines written in the first-person point of view. This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH Every Haibun must begin with a title. Haibun prose is composed of short, descriptive paragraphs, written in the first-person singular.

The text unfolds in the present moment, as though the experience is occurring now rather than yesterday or some time ago. In keeping with the simplicity of the accompanying haiku or tanka poem, all unnecessary words should be pared down or removed. Nothing must ever be overstated.

The poetry never tries to repeat, quote, or explain the prose. Instead, the poetry reflects some aspect of the prose by introducing a different step in the narrative through a microburst of detail. Thus, the poetry is a sort of juxtaposition – different yet somehow connected.

Cinquain ALSO: Check out the Cinquain variations listed here: Cinquain-Wikipedia These are acceptable methods to use. Please list the form you use so we can learn from you. 

Etheree The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree Syllable Count: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree Syllable Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Nonet The elements of the Nonet are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of 9 line stanzas.
  2. syllabic, 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 syllables per line.
  3. usually unrhymed.

Shadorma The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables.

When writing a Shadorma I would concentrate on a specific subject. The brevity of syllables is perfect for that kind of structure.

A poem may consist of one stanza or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas).

Senryu in English 5/7/5 syllable structure. A Senryu is written about love, a personal event, and have IRONY present. Click the link to learn the meaning of irony.

Image credit:

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables 

This site even has a link so you install the extension on Google Chrome.

For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and Tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your Haiku or Tanka.

I don't get it


I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12: 03 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Denver Time).  That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world. The RECAP is published on Monday and will contain links to the challenge participant’s poems.


You have one week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday, at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Denver time, U. S. A.

This will give me a chance to add the links from everyone’s poem from the previous week, on the Recap published on Monday. I urge everyone to visit the blogs and comment on everyone’s poem.

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words. Choose synonyms from those words for your poetry. You, the poet, now have more control over the direction of your writing. Follow the rules carefully. Don’t use the prompt words.

LINK YOUR BLOG POST TO MINE WITH A PINGBACK. To do a Pingback: Copy the URL (the HTTPS:// address of my post) for the current week’s Challenge and paste it into your post. You may also place a copy of your URL of your post in the comments of the current week’s Challenge post.

Because of the time difference between where you are, and I am, you might not think your link is there. I manually approve all links. People taking part in the challenge may visit you and comment or “like” your post. I also need at least a Pingback or a link in the comments section to know you took part and to include you in the Weekly Recap published each Monday.

BE CREATIVE. Use your photos and create “Visual POETRY” if you wish, although it is not necessary. Use whatever program you want to make your images.

Don't forget

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY.

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Senryu, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma

Visit Robbie Cheadle’s Poetry Sharing Group on Facebook! JOIN TODAY!

Robbie Cheadle has set up a public group on Facebook called: “Poetry Sharing Group.”  If your blog has a Facebook share button, I will be sharing your work in Robbie’s group. I’ve noticed that your posts get lost in the abyss of posts on Facebook. I think this is a great way to share our work with other poets. Please click the link above to join this group. Remember, sharing is caring! Thank you. <3

You may copy the badge I have created to go with the Weekly Poetry Challenge Post and place it in your post. It’s not mandatory:


Have fun and write some poetry!

83 thoughts on “Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 113, Happy December! Poets Choice of Words”

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  8. Hello Colleen! My friend, Miriam Hurdle, really got me interested in your poetry challenges, and I just couldn’t resist. So, anyway, I’ve penned an Etheree, for the first time. To tell the truth, I found it rather daunting, and I don’t know that I’m particularly pleased with the outcome, BUT it was, indeed, challenging in a very good way! Thank you so much for instructing and challenging us! All the best with peace…

    1. You’re so welcome. I’m glad you gave the Etheree a try. Maybe Haiku or Tanka wouldn’t be as daunting for you. I’ll get out your poem. Glad you’re here. This is how we all learn. <3

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  21. I had some problems with a pingback a couple weeks ago, and today I have the time to make a comment! Love what everyone’s had so far!

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    1. This is just a tiny selection of Syllabic poetry. There are many more. Writing poetry helps writers write better novels. It’s all about the control adjectives, rhythm, and the beauty of words. <3

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