hmmm Tanka…what about Her!


I usually write haiku, and not very often only when I sit on twitter . I have friends there who twit haiku very often. There are some peoples who make online tanka. I know about tanka few years already and for me is very interesting that some people including me promote those old styles of writing poetry on twitter.  O.K.

What is #tanka?

Something that is not haiku, sedoka, choka, onji, renga, senryu, … 🙂 [this was the hard part]

  • Tanka is a classic form of Japanese poetry related to the haiku with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)
  • (the other one) Tanka, the oldest Japanese poetry form, was often written to explore religious or courtly themes and had a structure of five lines with a  5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure. One person would contribute the first three lines (5-7-5) of the tanka, and a different author would complete the poem by composing a 7-7 section and adding a pivot point such as in this tanka from George Knox at Aha! Poetry:

In the check-out line

a worn face ahead of me

turns tentatively…

Realities of desire

fade in final reckoning.

-tanka by George Knox

  • From tanka’s long history – over 1300 years recorded in Japan – the most famous use of the poetry form of #tanka was a secret message between lovers. Arriving home in the morning, after having dallied with a lover all night, it became the custom of well-mannered persons to write an immediate thank-you note for the pleasure of the hospitality. Stylized into a convenient five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 onji, the little expressing one’s feelings were sent in special paper containers, written on a fan, or knotted on a branch or stem of a single blossom. These were delivered to the lover by personal messenger who then was given something to drink along with his chance to flirt with the household staff. During this interval a responding #tanka was to be written in reply to the first note which the messenger would return to his master. Jane Reichhold

One of the trademarks of a tanka (besides the traditional five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 onji — syllables) is a short poetic statement depicting nature (here it may seem much like something you could call a haiku) which is linked to a designated feeling or emotional attitude of the author. This latter aspect is a basic one dividing the two forms today.

By expressing emotional feelings tanka affirms a connectedness between something unseen but real — our feelings — with the observable world around us. Tanka gives the mind a picture which can, if it is successful, joins for and evokes a felt emotional state.

Tanka have changed and evolved over the centuries, but the form of five syllabic units containing 31 syllables has remained the same.Topics have expanded from the traditional expressions of passion and heartache, and styles have changed to include modern language and even colloquialisms.

Characteristics of #tanka

  • 31 syllables, 5 lines;
  • Write the first section of a tanka (5-7-5), similar to a haiku;
  • Another person picks up the first 3 lines and writes a response (or continuation) by composing two lines of 7-7 syllables;
  • Can reflect nature or lean toward senryu;
  • Emotional, contemplative, imaginative, reflective, written to be chanted.


Many clouds unfurled

rise at cloud-decked Izumo;

Round you spouse to hold

raise many folder barriers

like those barriers manifold.

(old tanka)

For me one of the most important thing for writing East forms of poetry is to follow your heart, to open the doors for the words that show emotions, to catch moments from your happiness between the lines, to make pictures from the nature…while the ants prepare for the next winter.

Never published #haiku

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by Allen Ginsberg

Drinking my tea
without sugar-
no difference.

The sparrow shits
upside down
— ah! my brain & eggs

Mayan head in a
pacific driftwood bole.
— Someday I’ll live in N.Y.

Looking over my shoulder
my behind was covered
with cherry blossoms.

Winter Haiku

I didn’t know the names
of the flowers–now
my garden is gone.

I slapped the mosquito
and missed.
What made me do that?

Reading haiku
I am unhappy,
longing for the Nameless.

A frog floating
in the drugstore jar:
summer rain on grey pavements.
(after Shiki)

On the porch
in my shorts;
auto lights in the rain.

Another year
has past-the world
is no different.

The moon over the roof,
worms in the garden.
I rent this house.

The first thing I looked for
in my old garden was
The Cherry Tree.

My old desk:
the first thing I looked for
in my house.

My early journal:
the first thing I found
in my old desk.

My mother’s ghost:
the first thing I found
in the living room.

I quit shaving
but the eyes that glanced at me
remained in the mirror.

The madman
emerges from the movies:
the street at lunchtime.

Cities of boys
are in their graves,
and in this town…

Lying on my side
in the void:
the breath in my nose.

On the fifteenth floor
the dog chews a bone-
Screech of taxicabs.

A hardon in New York,
a boy
in San Fransisco.

[Haiku composed in the backyard cottage at 1624

Milvia Street, Berkeley 1955, while reading R.H.

Blyth’s 4 volumes, “Haiku.”]

~*~ source ~*~

dale_smith_ginsburg_howlingAllen Ginsberg

Renowned poet, world traveler, spiritual seeker, founding member of a major literary movement, champion of human and civil rights, photographer and songwriter, political gadfly, teacher and co-founder of a poetics school. Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) defied simple classification.

Twitter Haiku

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I just saw new birth

new flower show me the face.

It’s the source.


We go to the source.

The river is going from

the source. Where?

Shared happiness

on the wings of our shoes

pocket full with fire.


My heart is drum orchestra

when is playing the song

that you are singing!

Manasa vaacha agochara*

Spaces between letters

oceans of mystical desires

*beyond mind and words.




by Milos Crnjanski


Now we are carefree, tender and airy.

Let us think: how quiet are, the snowy

peaks of the Urals.

If we get sad over a pale figure,

whom we have lost on some evening,

we know that, somewhere, a rivulet,

instead of it, all in red, is flowing!

One love, morning in foreign land,

envelops our soul, gets tighter,

in endless peace of blue seas,

from which the crimson corals glitter,

like, from my distant homeland, cherries.

We wake up at night, smiling dearly,

to the Moon with its bow bent,

caressing the distant hills, tenderly,

and icy mountains, with our hand.


Empty dictionary

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When my name is night,

the taxi is not here, I walk to my house,

trying to write that what I want.

searching for new lyrics in the empty

English dictionary, is

only my wish to know

-when the moon really light my road?

In the hole of the ants,

where I was thinking my home is,

I found ancient bottle

full with the spirit of your last thought.


For you

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In the tear drop
Which slipped on your face
I saw waterfalls of emotions
Sent to the target.

In the salinity of your lips
I sensed a pearl
Mature for confrontation
With the wisdom of the bleach.

The day when
You will know how to graft
A life,
You already live it.

With me like lantern,
For me like Sun,
Next to me like fire,
Inside you like volcano.

deep nature

deep nature






За тебе

Во капката солза
што потече низ твоето лице
видов водопади емоции
испратени кон целта.

Во соленилото на твоите усни
сетив бисер
созреан за соочување
со мудроста на белилото.

Денот кога
ќе знаеш да искалемиш
веќе го живееш.

Со мене како фенер,
за мене како сонце,
до мене како оган,
во тебе како вулкан.


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Max Verhart, Holland (Holandija)

falling apple

the branch sweeps into

a new balance

(#1 Shiki Kukai, September, 2006)

pada jabuka –

grana se vraća

u novu ravnotežu

(Translation: Saša Važić)


паѓа јаболка-

гранката се враќа

во нова рамнотежа.

(превод:Митко Гогов )

Dubravko Korbus, Hrvatska (Croatia)

jesenje nebo

mušice ostale

bez lastavica

autumn sky

the gnats

without swallows

(Translation: Đurđa Vukelić Rožić)

есенско небо

комарците останаа

без ластовици.

(превод:Митко Гогов)

Adelaide B. Shaw, USA (SAD)

fresh eggs

in the winter hen house

warming my hands



sveža jaja

u hladnom kokošinjcu

greju mi ruke

(Translation: Saša Važić)


свежи јајца

во ладен кокошарник

ми ги топлат рацете

(превод:Митко Гогов)


Beate Conrad, USA (SAD)


spring rain

almost unnoticed

the beggar’s tears

Prolećna kiša –

jedva primetne

suze prosjaka

(Translation: Saša Važić)


Пролетен дожд-

речиси незабележани

солзите на просјакот

(превод:Митко Гогов)


Petar Tchouhov, Bulgaria (Bugarska)

cold wind

an old woman steps closer

to the church


hladan vetar

starica se primiče


(Translation: Saša Važić)


студен ветер

старица се доближува

до црквата

(превод:Митко Гогов)


Dušan M. Adski, Srbija (Serbia)

Dlan mi greje

topla njuška psa –

jutro u planini


my palm warmed

by a dog’s snout –

mountain morning

(Translation: Saša Važić)


дланката ми ја топли

топлата муцка на кучето-

планинско утро

(превод:Митко Гогов)


Maria Tirenescu, Romania (Rumunija)


full of flowers

a wild rose near the river –

the moon alone…


puna cvetova

divlja ruža kraj reke –

usamljen mesec

(Translation: Saša Važić)


полно цвеќиња

дива ружа покрај реката-

осамена месечина

(превод:Митко Гогов)

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