The Tanka Tuesday poetry challenge asked us to write about “dreams” this week.

I wrote a tanka poem:

Image by Michael Grey from Pixabay

Day Dreams

 blue sky, cloud watching
 under the green canopy,
 opaque day dreams build
 poetry and story plots,
 fashioning magical worlds

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

The tanka is one of the most popular forms in our challenge. Let’s review a few of the characteristics of the tanka.

The 5/7/5/7/7 syllabic form is written from the perspective of the poet. Japanese poetry has stricter rules than other poetry, although the tanka is the most forgiving of these forms.

The first three lines of your tanka should convey a specific theme. The last two lines of your tanka are usually where the pivot occurs. The pivot should change the course of your writing with an implied metaphor, or some kind of comparison. You want to link the two parts of your poetry so the reader can connect to your meaning in fresh ways.

Don’t end your lines with articles and prepositions. Always use precise language: verbs, adjectives, etc. Use your five senses when writing tanka poetry.

Compose, read, and write your tanka poems to be read forward and backward. Often, the meaning changes or becomes more impactful to the reader when read backward.

Have fun writing tanka poetry!