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

willows

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

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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.

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          • 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.

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          • 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

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    • 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 🙂

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