The Ten Styles of Tanka – Post Two – January 21, 2016


that winter at noon
I was happy – full of life
the willows shone bright
their leaves flowed like silver rain
imitating a spring day

© G.s.k. ‘16

“2. Appropriate statement – koto shikarubeki

From the former emperor Go-Toba’s Secret Teachings, is his statement that the Priest Shun’e said of this style “that a poem should be composed so that seems to glide as smoothly as a drop of water rolling down the length of a five-foot iris leaf”. The priest was known to have composed in a smooth quiet manner.

As example is this poem by Shunzei, #16:988 Senzaishū:

sumiwabite / mi o kakusubeki / yamazoto ni /amari kuma naki /yowa no tsuki kana

weary of the world
I thought to hide myself away
in this mountain village
but it reaches every corner of the night
bright radiance of the moon

Teika’s Ten Tanka Techniques by Jane Reichhold

13 thoughts on “The Ten Styles of Tanka – Post Two – January 21, 2016

        • I don’t know why, but I rarely find them difficult except using kigo because my seasons are different … these tanka have no fixed prompt … that is I don’t have to use a particular kigo or whatever, so I use the form inspiring myself with whatever, well, inspires me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • My seasons are so different and it never snows were I live now so the current kigo prompts are totally beyond me. I like your attitude to them. Maybe I should be doing something like that.


          • I know what you mean about the kigo being way off from reality. I’ve often had similar problems … but at least I know what snow is and I can remember it very well. But if someone doesn’t know what snow “feels” like how can one sincerely write about snow. Sometimes though, I seek inspiration in a video and that can create a sensation … but I don’t think that is quite the same thing. So I try to write around it:

            in this snowless plain
            sand sparkles under the moon
            a coyote howls


    • Thanks … I’m very impressed with how you wrote the ten styles – nicely done. I wanted to try them too, but decided to stagger them out, so after number three the rest will be by themselves 🙂


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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