Most people are familiar with haiku, the three line, seventeen syllable Japanese poem that captures a seasonal nature image so sharply it pierces the heart. But another form of Japanese poetry, the tanka, is intriguing me. It is essentially a three line haiku with two more seven syllable lines at the end, making it a five line poem. What I love about it is that those last two lines allow me to add a personal thought connected to the nature image. It expands the heartbeat I can write inside of. And it lends itself so well to illustration and art making it a great form for this new experiment of mine.


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