You’ve probably heard of a haiku, but have you heard of a style of poetry called the tanka? The following is an introduction to haikus and tankas by Joseph Ficor.
Japanese poetry is very unique. It does not depend on rhyming as much as Western poetry forms. I enjoy this because I am not very good at rhyming to begin with.
The two styles that I like experimenting with are the haiku and the tanka. The haiku is composed of three lines with a syllable count of 5-7-5 for a total of 17 syllables. It must contain a seasonal word. Otherwise, it is called a senryu. I have used it as a tool to write science fiction haiku, aka scifaiku.
Here is an example of one that I wrote several years ago:
Black haired girls
Riding on red black hoverbikes
Travel New Tokaido
Tanka is similar except that it has a longer syllable count: 5-7-5-7-7.
Here is an example that I composed just for this blog (don’t you just feel so special inside?):
I feel bitter now
Circling a black…
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