Wednesday, 7 April 2010

National Poetry Writing Month, Day Seven

Today's Read Write Poem prompt is:

Write and capture humorous incidents related to love in a 5-line love poem called a tanka. (You may even decide to create your own tanka journal for love poems!) Here’s how to write one:
Describe in concrete terms one or two simple images (two or three lines) from your humorous love encounter, not just what you saw but also what you tasted, touched, smelled or heard.
What were you were thinking at the time this love encounter happened? Write that down, too, as two or three lines, so you have five lines in total for the poem.
Think about making the third line of your poem into a pivot line, so that it links to both the previous two lines and to the final two lines.
Test the tanka by dividing it into two parts so the third line acts both as the last line of the first part and as the first line of the second part. Does each section make sense separately, and then together?
Think about reducing — and even avoiding — capitalization and punctuation because a tanka needn’t be like a sentence or merely a flat statement.

I’d heard of Tanka before but never tried to write one so I checked Wikipedia where I found it usually consists of five units (often treated as separate lines in English) with the pattern: 5-7-5-7-7. OK then. I'm not sure how humorous this is, I've never been terribly good at being funny intentionally, but I do think the word 'goujon' is hilarious.

Golden buttered toast
honeyed crumbs fall saltily
I am a goujon
between our breakfast bed-sheets
and beg you not to fry me.


Alan Summers said...

Enjoyed your go at tanka.

I would avoid taking anything "wiki" says as actual gospel as it rarely keeps up with things.

Tanka Online is a good resource as any: tanka online

ACTUALLY YOUR 'DIT' has the immediacy of modern tanka:

My nails grow too fast. I have to keep a file in my desk drawer for emergency shortening when they begin to send my fingers skidding on the computer's keys.


my nails grow too fast
there's a file in the desk
my fingers begin to skid
on the computer's keys
when you are around


With Words

Anonymous said...

Once I looked up the word goujon, I, too, was amused. Brought a lot of interesting imagery to mind. :-)

Well done, so to speak!

Alesa Warcan said...

Hmmm... I think being bilingual isn't helping. I'm getting confusing and entertaining images from this.

Twas a fun tanka, thanks for posting.

Pat said...

'and beg you not to fry me.'
Works for me.

Julie Jordan Scott said...


LOVE this and yes, it qualifies as funny. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Actually happened yesterday, we have been laughing about it and reliving it ever since.

Eryl Shields said...

Alan ~ thanks for that, I will visit tanka online shortly. I'm afraid, like a lazy student, I do tend to resort to wiki far too often!

Poemblaze ~ nice to hear it.

Alesa ~ perhaps being bilingual is adding depths that the rest of us will never experience.

Pat ~ indeed, I have been fried more than once!

Julie ~ you're welcome.

Alesa Warcan said...

I'm sure most people find ways of being dazed and confused. Ah, the joys of life.

Katharine Whitcomb said...

Way to go with the syllable count--I couldn't manage that!

Wayne Pitchko said...

nicely done Eryl

Kass said...

Yes, this is funny. I love the images and smells conjured up by the goujon in between breakfast? bedsheets.
I like what Alan did with your fingernails.

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ I know I do, without even trying.

Katharine ~ but now I find syllable counting is very old fashioned, if it was ever done at all, so you got it right and I got it wrong.

Wayne ~ thank you.

Kass ~ I was thinking of having breakfast in bed and getting covered in crumbs!

I love what Alan did with my fingernails. That's the joy of knowledge, experience and talent combined.

angryparsnip said...

Everyday I have a new favorite !
Yes, this is funny
and I liked what Alan did with your fingernails.
Your "about me" was what first alerted me that your blog would be very interesting.

flaubert said...

Hot and sexy fun!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Hmm, you have an opportunity to expand on this and really sex it up a bit! (I'm not suggesting you should, personally I prefer to keep food in the kitchen...)

Kim Ayres said...

I hope you'll forgive my lack of comments this month. Unfortunately me & poetry have never really understood each other. The best I ever came up with was:

I decide to write poetry
So sit and think for a time
But all I can come up with
Are sentences that rhyme...

So the chances of me being able to offer up any kind of meaningful critique are about as likely as Gordon Brown winning the "Most Inspiring Man of the Year" award.

However, there was one thing I did want to say...

Hope you have a great day :)

Eryl Shields said...

Parsnip ~ thanks! I never know what to write about myself, so I'm glad it worked.

Pamela ~ ha!

Gadjo ~ wasn't there a time though, when young, when bed was the place for everything? I can't stand eating in bed, or anywhere that can't be wiped clean with a damp cloth, these days myself!

Kim ~ there is nothing to forgive. I would hate to think any of my friends felt obliged to comment.

And thank you for your birthday wishes.

Alesa Warcan said...

Well, from what Kim just said, it's your birthday! In case you celebrate it: Tanjôbi Omedetô!
Hope you have a lovely day...

Lily Cate said...

If I start writing these, they will all be filthy.

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ thank you. What language is that? I do wish I was good with languages, after five years of French lessons my instructor suggested I stop torturing myself and her!

Lily ~ in that case I think you should begin straight away!

Alesa Warcan said...

It's Japanese, which I don't actually speak. Sometimes it expresses more, sometimes just as much and sometimes it doesn't work. Sounds like any other language. Heh.

Lulu LaBonne said...

loved this - I am now off to tanka ...