Ten Styles of Tanka – Post 6 – January 25, 2016

Malcesine Gull_small

the old gull
sitting on the ancient pylon
silently waits
the sun plays hide and seek
in the gathering clouds

G.s.k. ‘16

  1. Visual description – miru tei

“This is a rather bland style emphasising visual description and imagery and often containing no subjective or emotive statements. Some of the decedents of Teika, such as his son Tameie, used this style or technique to counteract the strong subjective vein of the “Fujiwara style”. In the Teika Jittei are 12 examples of this style among which is this poem by Minamoto Tsunenobu (1016-1097) written on the subject of “young rice shoots” as published in Shikokinshū, #3:225:

sanae toru / yamado no kakehi / morinikeri / hiku shimenawa ne / tsuyu zo koboruru

the water pipe
leading into mountain fields
must be leaking
moisture drips down sacred ropes
around the beds of rice

It seems Shiki’s shasei style of “sketching” in haiku would be a carry-over from this tanka technique.”

 

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #66 Teika’s Ten Tanka Techniques by Jane Reichhold