Get Your Premium Membership


This poetry contest is closed. Enter a new contest here: Poetry Contests

One or Two Tanka -

Contest Judged:  2/25/2018 12:00:00 AM
Sponsored by: Rick Parise | Send Soup Mail
See Contest Description

Contest Description

What to Submit?

1 original, poem on the theme of .............ONE OR TWO 5/7/5/7/7 Tanka Song

Subject -  Choose One Of These Or Combination -The topics of such poetry were, among other things, praise for the Imperial reign, nature and the natural rotation of the seasons, love and the progress of love affairs, celebrations, mourning, travel and parting, and combinations of these. 

Tanka form is acceptable.

About Tanka and Its History

Tanka, meaning ‘short song’, is the modern name for waka, ‘Japanese song’, the traditional form of lyric poetry which has been composed in Japan for over 1300 years.

Originally intended to be chanted aloud to musical accompaniment, waka are believed to have existed already in the oral literature of the seventh century. The earliest Japanese anthology is the mid eighth century Man’yōshū (Collection of Myriad Leaves), compiled of some 4,496 individual poems on subjects such as the beauty and evanescence of the natural world, human love, laments for the dead, and the affairs of ordinary people. Of them 4,173 are written in waka form.

The waka or tanka is an unrhymed verse form of thirty-one syllables or sound units1 most often written in one continuous unpunctuated line. Nearly all Japanese syllables consist of a single vowel, or consonant plus vowel. As the language has only five vowels, rhyming is too simple to be interesting, hence Japanese poetry does not depend on rhyme. There are no poetic stress accents, so metre based on stress is not possible, either. Instead, traditional Japanese poetry is given rhythm by writing to a pattern of 5/7/5/7/7 sub-units or sound sets, with varying breath pauses being made when read aloud. Japanese is an agglutinative language which strings together shorter elements to create long, sometimes complex, word and phrase formations. Rhythmically and semantically, 5/7/5 combines unevenness with alternation, thus providing a natural balance to offset its inherent fluidity.

The most popular tanka poet of all time, Ishikawa Takuboku (1886-1912), a frequenter of the Yosano salon, called this new poetry ‘poems to eat’. According to Takuboku: ‘the name means poems made with both feet upon the ground. It means poems written without putting any distance from actual life.



Read More Tanka and Its History.htm