A tanka (“short poem” or “short song”) is a free verse, 31-syllable poem originating in Japan. Japanese poets historically wrote these in one unbroken line, but now they commonly write tanka poems in three lines. When poets write tanka in English, they utilize five lines, similar to a cinquain. One of the oldest Japanese forms, Tanka (A Short Song) originated in the seventh century, and quickly became the preferred verse form in the Japanese Imperial Court.
One of the oldest Japanese forms, Tanka (A Short Song) originated in the seventh century, and quickly became the preferred verse form in the Japanese Imperial Court.
Tanka’s economy and suitability for emotional expression made it ideal for intimate communication. The idea came to me over a period of time during Lockdown as I walked in and among the trees where I live in Scotland. I wondered what they might think of the state of things in the world and so I made time to sit and listen. I also wrote in contemplation with some images I had taken from other parts of the world for this first volume.
Each of the Tanka in this volume are presented as One photograph, One Tanka. Together they are a song to the trees and in time this will be Vol 1 of a Tree-Logy of 3 books.
For now Vol 1 is now available as a Free Downloadable PDF. This is a large file and may take a while to download.