Tanka : Haiku’s Big Cousin

The word tanka means “short song” and is one of the oldest Japanese forms of poetry originating in the seventeenth century. The tanka is related to it’s shorter cousin, haiku, but isn’t as popular with American poets. Traditional Japanese tanka poems are made up of 31 syllables written in a single, unbroken line. However, the tanka poems in English takes on a five-line form, consisting of a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count.

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Paint Chip Poetry: 9-11

A few weeks back, I posted a Paint Chip Poetry exercise. It was so much fun, I thought I’d give it another try this week. The rules for Paint Chip Poetry are simple:

  • Choose a random selection of color swatches from your local hardware store or online.
  • Give yourself a time limit of ten or fifteen minutes.
  • Write a free verse poem using as many of the paint colors as possible in the time allotted.
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Free Verse: The Birth of a Poem

There seems to be an influx of newborn babies right now, at least in my little corner of the world. I’ve enjoyed seeing the sweet little bundles of joy and their happy parents and grandparents on social media. So, I had the idea to write a poem about babies for this week’s post. Oh, the pressure of a poem! After many attempts, my focus shifted to the process of getting my thoughts down on paper. Giving birth to words is not nearly as exciting to celebrate, but the labor pains are real!

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